Penguins trounce Islanders in Game 1
It had been 2,203 days since the New York Islanders competed in a Stanley Cup playoff game.
It may take that long to wipe the egg off of their faces after being thoroughly outclassed by the Penguins, 5-0, in Game 1 last night at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Game 2 is Friday night in Pittsburgh.
Not one Islander distinguished himself in the series opener against the top-seeded Penguins. Fourteen Islanders finished minus-1 or worst. The top line of Brad Boyes, John Tavares and Matt Moulson only generated 14 shot attempts. Evgeni Nabokov was pulled after yielding four goals in the series’ first 21:51.
Even more of a concern was that the Penguins spent much of the game skating with impunity.
Pascal Dupuis scored two goals, and Beau Bennett, Kris Letang and Tanner Glass each potted a marker. Nine Penguins were plus-1 or better. Ten Penguins recorded at least one point in the game.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves to earn his sixth career shutout in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
All of the offense the Penguins needed came 3:30 into the match. With Brian Strait in the box for interference, Bennett walked down the wall and cut toward the net before snapping a quick shot over Nabokov for the series’ first goal.
It was a punch to the solar plexus. And the Penguins kept pounding the Islanders’ collective body.
Dupuis sandwiched goals (13:23 of the first period and 1:51 of the second period) around Letang’s marker (1:19 of the second). Following Dupuis’ second, Jack Capuano replaced Nabokov with Kevin Poulin. Poulin stopped nine of ten shots.
Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.