Saturday, November 3, 2007

11/3/07: Game 13: Penguins 2 - Islanders 3

For the second time in as many games the Pittsburgh Penguins squandered a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2. Thursday in was in Colorado, tonight it was in New York against the Islanders.

Once again the Penguins looked to be well in control of the game after the first, only to allow the Islanders back into the game.

Al Arbour was behind the Islanders bench for one more time, under a special invitation from Ted Nolan, to allow Al to pick up his 1,500 game.

The bounces certainly did not go the Penguins way, with one Islanders goal generated from an awkward bounce off the boards behind Fleury, and another coming from an Islander who lost his edge at the Penguins blue line, only to have the puck come back his way leading to a rush and eventually goal. But defensively, the Penguins are not operating efficiently. They are attempting drop passes in their own zone, and passing through the middle in the neutral zone. These are the things that are bound to stifle a rush.

The cycle has looked promising lately, but they need finish. The plays are there, the passes are there. They need to get their sticks on the ice, and hit the net hard, picking up rebounds. Sidney Crosby's moves are dazzling, and Sergei Gonchar's shot is lethal, but we need the Ryan Malone rebound goal, the hard working goal.

What is worth celebrating however, that Alan Nasreddine finally saw his first action on the blue line tonight. It wasn't his best showing, but we need a defenseman that is more comfortable in their own zone than on the opposing teams blue line. Mark Eaton seems to be our only one. Rob Scuderi was caught standing still on Miroslav Satan's game winning goal in the 3rd.

Colby Armstrong, who hasn't picked up a point in 10 games, found himself a healthy scratch tonight. It would be a huge boost to get the Army of old out on the ice, let's hope he get's it together.

Monday night the Penguins face the second in what will be 9 straight Atlantic Division opponents, in New Jersey against the Devils.

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