Penguins-Islanders: Hats Off as Sykora, Dupuis Each Net Three as Pens Win 9-2
One word summarizes this entire game: finally.
Finally, Petr Sykora snapped his 38 games with two goals, but no hat trick streak, by putting three pucks in the net for the first hat trick of his career and adding an assist for the Pens.
Finally, Pascal Dupuis was rewarded for playing his ass off for the past three games with the first hat trick of his career.
Finally, the Penguins snapped their three game losing skid, during which they mustered just six goals, and allowed the overweight bandwagon fan holding the "We <3 Syd" sign to rest easy. They must have been giving out free bags of Doritos on the Penguins bandwagon tonight.
The Pens came out flying in front of another sellout crowd at the Mellon Arena. I've lost count of the sellout streak, but I'm pretty sure it's somewhere in the 70's now. That's more games than the Detroit Red Wings have sold out in the entire history of their franchise.
Pascal Dupuis started the onslaught of Penguins' goals around the six minute mark of the opening period.
Satan sent a crisp pass blue line to blue line, which Dupuis received in stride. Dupuis gained the zone and found his sweet spot along the left boards. He unleashed another one of his blaring slap shots and beat Old MacDonald to make it 1-0 Pens.
Soon after the first goal of the game, the Islanders began unraveling. Doug Weight, Freddy Meyer, and Nate Thompson each took consecutive penalties, giving the Penguins ample opportunities to widen the gap on the score board.
The Pens came up empty on their first two efforts, but Thompson's hooking penalty gave the Pens a two-man advantage.
About a minute into the five-on-three, the Pens had failed to get a puck past Old MacDonald.
Enter Jokedan Witt. Witt takes a whack at Jordan Staal in the slot, extending the 5-on-3 advantage for Pittsburgh.
Sidney Crosby took a pass from the point and waited patiently at the side of the cage. Sid dished the puck toward the front of the net, where it deflected off of Matt Cooke's stick.
Satan was on the back side of the play and showed those soft hands we have seen from him on numerous occasions this season. Satan corralled the loose puck and slid it behind MacDonald to make it 2-0 Pens.
The Isles got some life when a Cooke penalty led to a Mark Streit goal on the Islanders' power play. Not much John Curry could do about that one, as it was a blazing slap shot from the Isles' point man. 2-1 Pens.
11 seconds after the Streit goal, the European Union hit the ice for the Pens. Ruslan Fedotenko got the puck to Evgeni Malkin at center ice. Malkin soared into the offensive zone and found Petr Sykora coming late.
Petr Gun took the pass from Malkin and blazed a puck past Old MacDonald to make it 3-1 Pens.
Just when you started to think about the Pens blowing another two goal lead in the second period, Bobby Boucher reminded everyone that he was back in the Penguins' lineup.
Satan whipped the puck behind the net, where Crosby took possession. Sid held off two defenders, got the puck to the point, and Boucher fired the cannon. 4-1 Pens.
The Pens rattled off 19 shots in the first period; 14 more than their opponents.
You expected a tight checking, dump and chase game to develop during the second and third periods. The Pens had a different scenario in mind, especially when the Isles pulled Old MacDonald in favor of Jan Danis to start the period.
Two minutes into the second frame, Sykora worked the puck to Malkin at center ice. Gino swooped into the offensive zone and dropped the puck back to Alex Goligoski.
Goligoski let a shot fly and Jan Danis coughed up a rebound that was worse than the fat redheaded chick who banged your brother last week.
If this same play happened in any of the Pens' last three games, the puck would have wandered into the corner. Instead, the puck bounced right on to Malkin's blade.
Gino buried it to give the Pens a commanding four goal lead.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton line turned in a solid shift after the goal to keep the momentum going. Tim Wallace was everywhere tonight and looked to have made a bid for some more ice time in the coming games.
The Pens were called for too many men on the ice, but Bill Guerin slashed someone and so came on a four-on-four game.
Nothing happened with two less players on the ice, and the Pens got a powerplay on the backside of the Guerin penalty.
Max Talbot gained the offensive blue line and dropped the puck off to Goligoski. Goligoski found Sykora in the slot and Petr Gun wristed another puck past Danis for his second of the game. 6-1 Pens.
I've taken a lot of flack for my blatant dislike of Alex Goligoski. Watch the second period of this game if you are one of those people who wonders why I don't like him.
I can't remember exactly when it happened, but Golijokeski was skating toward his own goal with the puck on his stick. Instead of sending the puck cross-ice to his defensive partner, or even wristing it around the boards, Golijokesi shot the puck right at his own net.
Luckily, Marc-Andre Curry wasn't asleep yet and got his stick in front of the shot. Goligoski sucks.
The Pens were trying to get Sykie that elusive third goal. Coming into the game, Sykora had registered two goals in a game on 38 separate occasions throughout his career, but had never recorded a hat trick.
The European Union thought they had scored another goal, but a quick whistle negated the call. Sykie went back to the bench grinning, knowing that he had been robbed yet again.
Sykie would get another chance soon after the no-goal call when Tim Jokeman punched someone in the back of the head, giving the Penguins yet another power play.
Crosby won the faceoff cleanly in the offensive zone. Staal worked the puck back to Sid, who held the puck on the right wing, looking toward Sykie in the slot.
Crosby hesitated long enough to freeze the Islanders' imaginary defensemen and slid a perfect pass to Sykie in the slot. Sykora didn't get all of the shot, but he got enough of it to allow the puck to slip between the pillows of Danis.
Petr Gun's first career hat trick made it 7-1 Pens.
The Pens were not satisfied with their six goal advantage, and Dupuis was still hungry.
Rob Scuderi sent an outlet pass to Staal who busted into the Isles' zone. Staal went to the left of the cage and whirled a blind pass toward the front of the net.
Dupuis was trailing the play and banged the puck home for his second of the game.
The game rolled into the second intermission, with the Pens leading 8-1.
The third period was about three things for the Pens: preserving the lead while running down the clock, not getting hurt by an Islander cheap shot, and getting Dupuis his first career hat trick.
Play dragged on for the first 13 minutes of the period, with the Pens maintaining possession for the majority of the time.
Things started to get chippy and two players from each team headed to the box.
Andy Sutton scored the most meaningless goal in NHL history at 13:06 of the third.
After two more failed powerplay attempts, time was running out on the Dupuis hat trick clock.
Finally, Dupuis caught the break he was looking for. Brooks Orpik chipped the puck into open ice, where Cooke picked it up.
Dupuis was flying down the left side, on a two-on-one with Cooke. Some Islander was attempting to back check, but probably didn't really care if the Pens added another goal to the board.
Cooke did his best Sidney Crosby impression and sent an air-born, backhand pass through the defensemen. The puck landed perfectly on Dupuis' tape.
After receiving the pass, Dupuis deked to the backhand and walked right around Danis to net the first hat trick of his career.
A lot of folks at Mellon Arena were heading home with cold heads tonight, as two Penguins recorded hat tricks in the same game for the first time since Mario and Joey Mullen pulled it off back in 1993.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 9 New York 2
- The Islanders are in a world of trouble right now. Rick Dipietro is supposedly supposed to be back around Christmas. He'll probably play two games and pull his groin.
- I said earlier today that the Pens would snap out of their slump sooner or later. I didn't exactly expect it to come in the form of a nine goal performance, but hey, it was a hell of a game to watch.
- Sid had three helpers and Malkin tallied a goal and an assist to stay atop the NHL scoring race.
- Marc-Andre Curry was solid, but he wasn't really tested. He made 24 saves in the game... 25 if you count the one he had to make on Golijokeski.
- The blue line is definitely more reliable with Boucher in the lineup.
- Paul Steigerwald in the second period: "You have to feel sorry for the Islanders right now, Bob". Are you serious? Mike Lange vomited after hearing that statement.
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