Islanders pick up feisty Game 4 win over favored Penguins

 

The renaissance season will last at least two more games.

The Islanders return to Pittsburgh having evened the Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup by topping the Penguins 6-4 in Game 4.

Game 5 is Thursday night at Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center.

“Anytime you play a team like that, as skilled as they are, I thought we did a great job,” head coach Jack Capuano said after the best-of-seven series was reduced to a best-of-three. “We did a lot of good things.”

John Tavares’s goal with 9:49 left was the game-winner. Tavares fired a shot that skittered under Marc-Andre Fleury’s arm and along the ice after Brad Boyes forced an Evgeni Malkin turnover in the Penguins’ end.

The goal broke a 4-4 deadlock.

The win was the Islanders’ first at the Coliseum in the Stanley Cup playoffs since April 28, 2002. The Islanders beat the Maple Leafs, 5-3, in a game remembered for Eric Cairns’s TKO of Shayne Corson.

The Islanders led twice, 1-0 and 2-1. Brian Strait opened the scoring 5:55 into the match with a 51-footer that fooled Fleury.

But as quickly as the Islanders had leads, the Pens tied the game. Forty-five seconds after Strait’s goal, James Neal tied the game at 1-1 with his first of the postseason. Evgeni Malkin tied the game at 2-2 1:02 later.

“We’ve learned areas of our game where we need to be better,” Capuano said. “The one thing about that team is that they don’t need many chances. They can strike — quick — and they did that. But I thought we responded well and you can see our guys growing.”

Brandon Sutter gave Pittsburgh its first lead of the game, 3-2, at the 11:03 mark of the second. But the Pens couldn’t grow the lead and it cost them when Kyle Okposo’s behind-the-net backhand banked off of Fleury’s pads into the cage with 1:24 left in the period.

“I knew Fleury was scrambling around. I knew there [were] a lot of bodies in front and I was trying to get it out there,” Okposo said. “Bank it off something and it ended up going off him.”

Fleury allowed all six goals on 24 shots.

“We want to get shots from everywhere,” Okposo said when asked if the Islanders were making a concerted effort to make Fleury work. “Obviously you don’t shoot too much from behind the net, but we’re trying to get pucks to the net and get bodies there.”

Pittsburgh went up 4-3 41 seconds into the third when Pascal Dupuis tipped Chris Kunitz’s centering feed past Evgeni Nabokov (27 saves). It was Dupuis’s fourth goal of the series.

Mark Streit tied the game with a shot that ricocheted off Douglas Murray’s skate at 4:30 of the third period. It was his second goal of the game, after being credited with a power-play score in the second.

“We don’t want to have to [play] ping-pong game, up-and-down,” Streit said. “We like to get the lead and play well defensively. Sometimes things just happen and they’re going to get opportunities. It’s just how you respond as a team. [You] just have to keep working and keep plugging away and work for your chances. Never give up.”

Casey Cizikas’s second of the series ended the scoring, yet there was one last pyrotechnic display as Malkin and Travis Hamonic engaged in a fight as the horn sounded which saw all 10 players on the ice get involved.

“You have to ask them,” said Hamonic, when asked why the scuffle started. “Let them think what they think. We’ll worry about ourselves. It’s the way we like to play, but you’d have to go and ask them if they’re frustrated.”

Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Local

Reports: Dead man pulled from water at Boston's…

A dead man was reportedly pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Local

Primark to make US debut in Boston

Dublin retailer Primark will make its U.S. debut with a store at the former Filene's site in Boston.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."