It’s not often you see a rout in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but that’s exactly what took place Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. In game one of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, the Pittsburgh Penguins dismantled the New York Islanders, 5-0, to begin their quest for a fourth Stanley Cup championship.
Before the game, a question mark in the Penguins’ lineup, other than whether Sidney Crosby and Brooks Orpik would suit up, was who would join Tanner Glass and Craig Adams on the fourth line. The two choices the coaching staff had was between Tyler Kennedy and Beau Bennett, and they decided to give the twenty-one year old rookie the call. It didn’t take long for the kid to show he was the right guy for the job. At 3:30 of the first period, Bennett opened the scoring with a power play goal on his first shot of his playoff career to give the Penguins the early 1-0 lead. Even though it was still early in the game, Pittsburgh would not look back. About ten minutes after Bennett’s series opening goal, Pascal Dupuis would put Pittsburgh up by two after finding a loose puck and putting it behind Evgeni Nabokov. The Penguins took their 2-0 lead into the locker rooms, while additionally leading in shots, 13-8.
The second period played similar to the first period with early goals. Just over a minute into the period, Kris Letang would make his presence known with a power play goal of his own. Thirty-two seconds later, Dupuis would strike again to give the Penguins a 4-0 lead and chasing Nabokov in the process. Kevin Poulin would come in to relieve Nabokov, but he couldn’t put a lid on the Penguins’ offense. At 13:07, Tanner Glass matched his regular season goal total when he threw a puck at the net that found its way behind Poulin to put Pittsburgh ahead, 5-0. That is the score the Penguins would take into the intermission.
The third period saw things take a bit of a turn. With about two minutes remaining in the game, Marty Reasoner stuck a knee out on Jussi Jokinen and a small scrum ensued. Reasoner was given a five-minute major and a ten-minute game misconduct for the infraction, while Jokinen skated off on his own. Due to the pushing and shoving that occurred after the incident, Matt Moulson, Travis Hamonic, and Casey Cizikas joined Reasoner in the Islanders’ locker room while Pascal Dupuis, Jarome Iginla, and Douglas Murray were sent to the Penguins’ room. The clock would run out on the Islanders as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all twenty-six shots he faced for the 5-0 shutout.
The Penguins and Islanders will meet again on Friday night for game two of their series in Pittsburgh (7:00 pm/et; Root Sports, NBC Sports Network, TSN).
-James Neal left the game with an apparent knee injury.
-Penguins were two-for-four on the power play and killed all four of the Islanders’ chances.
-John Tavares was beat up all game, especially by Brenden Morrow.
-Mark Eaton blocked five shots in the first period alone.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury (26 saves, 1.000 save %)
2. Pascal Dupuis (2 goals)
3. Jarome Iginla (2 assists)