Pittsburgh Penguins Shutout Islanders, Embark on Five Game Road Trip

WoooooSenior Writer IFebruary 25, 2009

Petr Sykora scored the Pens' lone goal in a 1-0 shutout victory over the New York Islanders.

The tally came with just under three minutes remaining in regulation.

The Pens carried the play for the majority of the game, possessing the puck in the Islanders' zone better than they have all season long.

The defensemen were especially active tonight, with each of the six D-men registering at least one shot on goal by the end of the second period.

Kris Letang got back into the lineup after sitting out the previous three games and looked good working the left point on the Pens' power play.

Said power play failed to score a goal for the second game in a row, but had to deal with the absence of Sidney Crosby manning the right half wall.

Sykie's tally was set up by Evgeni Malkin, who registered his NHL best 88th point of the season, and Sergei Gonchar, who has registered at least one point in five out of six games since returning from a season long shoulder injury.

Islanders' goaltender "Yawn" Danis evoked the feelings of what his first name implies: boredom. Danis has to be one of the most unexciting goaltenders in the NHL, but he is playing pretty well for the Isles right now, whatever that is worth.

After tonight's home win against the Isles, the Pens will embark on a five game road and won't return to Pittsburgh until March 10, when they will host the Florida Panthers.

The Pens road trip will look like this:

Friday night: Chicago Blackhawks
76 Points, 4th in Western Conference
Last 10 Games Record: 6-4-0
Season Series: 1st Meeting

Sunday Afternoon: Dallas Stars
65 Points, 8th in Western Conference
Last 10 Games Record: 5-5-0
Season Series: 1st Meeting

Next Tuesday: Tampa Bay Lightning (VERSUS)
52 Points, 13th in Eastern Conference
Last 10 Games Record: 3-5-2
Season Series: 1-1-0

Next Thursday: Florida Panthers
68 Points, 7th in Eastern Conference
Last 10 Games Record: 6-4-0
Season Series: 0-1-0

Next Sunday: Washington Capitals
81 Points, 2nd in Eastern Conference
Last 10 Games Record: 6-3-1
Season Series: 0-3-0

The Pens will face a mix of solid opponents and teams that they "should beat", if such a thing even exists anymore.

The Stars' lineup is riddled with injuries to big time players (Morrow, Richards, Zubov) and Marty Turco is having a rather inconsistent season between the pipes.

The Pens should beat the Bolts, but we are all quite aware of how that series has gone this season.

The game against Florida is probably the biggest game on the road trip, considering the Panthers are one of the teams jousting for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. They've been playing extremely well for the past two months and pose a threat against whichever team they're playing, particularly on their home ice, where they are 17-8-5.

The game against the Hawks this Friday could be a high scoring, entertaining hockey game. Or it could result in another 1-0 final score. Cristobal Huet isn't exactly having a career year between the pipes, but then again, Mike McKenna shut out the Penguins in late December.

Nothing really needs to be said about a Pens-Capitals game anymore.

Let's Go Pens