Penguins stumble against Islanders again
TribLIVE Sports Videos
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Sidney Crosby's nose injury did not require stitches. The same can't be said of the Penguins' recent performance.
Crosby missed part of the second period after taking a puck to the face as the Penguins were again surprised by the Islanders, this time in a 5-3 setback at Nassau Coliseum.
The Penguins have lost consecutive games to the Islanders and trail the New York Rangers by five points for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Each team has five games remaining, and the Penguins will host the Rangers on April 5.
Barring a Rangers' collapse, the Penguins now appear a very strong bet to begin the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers.
"The standings will be the standings," center Jordan Staal said. "We want to win games. Right now, we're not playing our best hockey, and we're losing games. It's something we need to address."
Crosby was held scoreless for a second straight game and left the ice at the 1:43 mark of the second period. While skating toward the left corner in New York territory early in the second period, Crosby was struck in the nose by defenseman Dylan Reese's clearing attempt. Reese, an Upper St. Clair native, was about 10 feet away from Crosby when he launched a clearing attempt that struck the Penguins' captain in the face.
Crosby has a large welt on the left side of his nose.
"We didn't do a lot of good things," Crosby said. "We paid for it again. We made some mistakes, and they capitalized on it."
The Penguins were hungry to play better defensively following a multitude of high-scoring games in recent weeks. They didn't succeed, and perhaps in paying so much attention to defense, were unable to generate their normal offensive attack.
"It was a bit better," said Crosby of his team's defensive work. "But we didn't produce enough offensively. It's still something to work on."
Again, the Penguins made numerous mistakes, something that hasn't been a characteristic all season.
They allowed a short-handed breakaway goal and were guilty of many turnovers.
"I didn't see a lot of response," coach Dan Bylsma said.
The Penguins have now permitted 25 goals in their past six games. Bylsma pointed out before the game that he isn't concerned about his team's play in its territory, but rather, believes puck management issues are to blame for his team's bloated goals against totals in recent games.
Again those problems were very much on display.
Center Evgeni Malkin, who scored his league-leading 100th point on his 47th goal — which ties his career-high — was guilty of a turnover while the Penguins were on the power play that led to Josh Bailey's goal. Bailey recorded two goals and three assists.
Malkin wasn't the only Penguins' player to make a mistake, as the power play again looked lost without injured defenseman Kris Letang.
"We expected a better effort," said Staal, who scored his 24th goal. "It just wasn't there. We need to find a way to get our game back."
The Penguins return to action Friday night against the red-hot Sabres in Buffalo.
Islanders, 1-0 (11:07): The Islanders pinned the Penguins in their territory for almost a minute before D Mark Streit circled around the net and found open C Marty Reasoner in the slot. He blasted a shot past G Marc-Andre Fleury.
Penguins, 1-1 (8:37): RW Craig Adams fed RW Pascal Dupuis, who buried a wrist shot past G Al Montoya's glove while the Penguins were killing a penlaty.
Islanders, 2-1 (16:36): RW Kyle Okposo slid a puck toward the net that hit off D Deryk Engelland's skate and into the net.
Islanders, 3-1 (18:36): C Evgeni Malkin coughed up the puck at New York's blue line, allowing C Josh Bailey to beat Fleury on a breakaway. Fleury's poke-check attempt failed.
Islanders, 4-1 (5:52): Okposo found himself open in front of the net, took a pass from Bailey and beat Fleury.
Penguins, 4-2 (8:20): C Jordan Staal took a pass from D Zbynek Michalek, split the defense and beat Montoya with a backhand hsot to the stick side.
Penguins, 4-3 (18:29): With Fleury pulled, Malkin gathered the puck in the slot and registered his 47th goal and 100th point.
Islanders, 19:55: Bailey broke past LW Steve Sullivan and scored into an empty net.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: What are Penguins, Pirates up to?
- Lapierre eager to make mark with Penguins
- For Penguins coach Johnston, it’s a matter of substance over style
- Capitals dominate overmatched Penguins in win at Verizon Center
- Penguins get physical, trade Goc for Blues’ Lapierre
- Crosby banned from Jets game because he missed All-Star Game
- Penguins notebook: Johnston pleased with Downie’s all-around play
- Penguins notebook: Crosby understands NHL’s reasoning for ban
- No cross-checking here: Penguins misspell ‘Sidney’
- Rossi: Crosby’s debt to NHL paid in full
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended 8 games for hit on Letang