Saturday, May 11, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Penguins 4, Isles 3 (OT)
By Katie Strang
What it means: The Islanders' Cinderella story came to an abrupt end 7:49 into overtime on Brooks Orpik's winner that sealed Game 6, 4-3, and ended the Isles' season. In a fitting tribute to the plucky squad, the packed crowd at Nassau Coliseum gave the team a standing ovation despite the loss.
Tie game: Trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Penguins evened the score for the third time Saturday night thanks to defenseman Paul Martin's one-timer, which appeared to deflect off Frans Nielsen past Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov with 5:16 remaining in regulation.
Setup man: With his second assist of the game, Islanders forward Keith Aucoin capitalized on Pens defenseman Kris Letang’s turnover in the third period, faking a shot and dishing off to Michael Grabner for a 3-2 lead at 2:21. Grabner’s third-period marker was a pivotal one, and it had the Coliseum buzzing.
Knotted at 2: Despite being outplayed in the second period, the Penguins tied the game 2-all midway through the middle frame on Pascal Dupuis’ redirect at 10:59. The Islanders outshot the Penguins 16-6 in the second, sustaining pressure against Pittsburgh’s Tomas Vokoun, but Dupuis tallied on the team’s third shot of the period. Pittsburgh did not manage a shot on goal until after the eight-minute mark.
Early momentum: With the game tied at 1 and time winding down, Islanders grinder Colin McDonald notched a huge goal to give his team a lead heading into the first intermission. Converting a slick cross-crease pass from Aucoin, McDonald scored with 37 seconds remaining. The Isles and Penguins had traded goals earlier in the period. Josh Bailey made a nice backhanded pass to find John Tavares at the right hash for a 1-0 Isles lead 5:36 into play, but the Penguins answered minutes later. Sidney Crosby raced in along the right wing, and although Nabokov came up with a big stop, Jarome Iginla crashed the net to poke through the rebound and knot the score at 1 at 7:39.
Welcome to the show: Former first-round draft pick (30th overall, 2010) Brock Nelson made his NHL debut in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The 21-year-old center played on the team’s fourth line with Casey Cizikas and McDonald. Nelson also received time on the team’s second power-play unit.