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On location: Penguins 4, Islanders 0, Game 5

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to faceoff …

Game 5: Penguins vs. New York Islanders, Stanley Cup playoffs, first round

Series: 2-2.

Time: 7:08 p.m.

Site: Consol Energy Center

TV, radio: Root Sports, MSG Plus (New York), WXDX-FM 105.9

Here is the official live box score.

Here is TribLIVE’s Penguins page. Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I are covering.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. Let’s go Pens? HIT SOMEONE and SHOOT the Puck!

  2. Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation – at the Trib,
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    342 locations represented in the blog,
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    Nominations are always welcome
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    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    5/9/2013 5:20 PM

  3. New Mexico list for me please.

  4. Penguins expected lineup

    1st: Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
    2nd: Neal – Malkin – Iginla
    3rd: Morrow – Sutter – Cooke
    4th: Kennedy – Vitale – Adams

    DP1: Orpik – Martin
    DP2: Despres – Letang
    DP3: Murray – Niskanen

    Starter – Vokoun
    Backup – Fleury

    Glass, Jokinen, Jeffrey, Eaton, Engelland, Bortuzzo, and Hartzell

    Using the same 12 forwards expected to play tonight, the lines should be…

    1st: Dupuis – Crosby – Iginla
    2nd: Kunitz – Malkin – Neal
    3rd: Cooke – Sutter – Kennedy
    4th: Morrow – Vitale – Adams

    • Well glad Iggy is on RW at least. Apparently that happened in practice when Neal waved Iggy over to RW.
      Was this the players decision? Or Bylsma’s?

      • I wasn’t there and first I’m reading of that but if that’s true, I don’t have much hope for Bylsma coaching the players up on a few adjustments in term of their defensive coverage back-checking and puck retrieval.

        • Hear ya. Little faith in DB for me. For a couple yrs now. Sigh.
          Man I hope they win tonight. I cant take this.

  5. Gut feeling: Penguins get down to business tonight. 2 goals from the Malkin line, definitely a goal from a defenseman – I’m feeling Martin – and a 7-2 Penguins WIN.

    Anyone else want to make a prediction or is that to jinxy?

    • Being everyone is screaming SHOOT THE PUCK and HIT SOMEBODY, my prediction is:


    • Jonathan – Holy crap, I’d love to see a blowout but I’ll just be happy with a Pens victory.

      • I have a small gambling issue and I might have put some money on the Pens winning by 5+, soooooo…

        • are you serious, you put $ on 5+ win? Wow… I’m hoping the payout on that is pretty big to take that risk.

          Let’s say the Penguins get 35 shots on goal, with Nabokov’s .846 save %, that’s 5.3 goals… to get 7-2 win, at his sv% that would be 46 shots on goal.

          Good luck

          • Could you imagine losing 2 years in a row to goalies that have played so stinky ?

            • It could happen.

              • I have no faith in Nabokov and I think Vokoun will steady the ship tonight. The other big bet I made this series was 3+ combined goals in the first period of game one. Guess which game of the four was the only one where that didn’t happen. I’m due and so are the Penguins :-)

              • whoops. it didnt happen in game four – selective amnesia for that game, i reckon.

    • I like the “gut” feeling – need to get down to business – keep it simple.
      As much as I like the sound of 7-2, I would be happy w/ a 1-0 win.

      Nah, I am lyin bout that – a 1-0 game would have me a quivering mass of nervous half melted Jello! :)

      GO PENS!!

  6. Well, Disco Duck has made some changes. Hope they work.

    But this Hippo needs some help with THE truly important thing tonight…………..

    which one for me……… Iced Tea, or Fruit Punch?? ;)

  7. Stan Savran had an interesting take, in contrast to Starkeys fairly optimistic column.

    Said this is an enormous crossroads for the whole franchise.
    Not just MAF, or Malkin or Bylsma.

    The whole franchise.

    I agree.

    • Stan has been around for a day or 2………… I trust his judgement.
      That being said, that is a HUGE statement for him to make.

      I honestly feel, that if the Pens lose this series, or the next one if they advance, that Bylsma and Fleury are gone. Then they have to decide what to do with Malkin. I think they keep him, but nothing is out of the question if an early exit awaits.

      Sloution to this………….. WIN THE CUP !!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • Stan may very well correct.
      I hate to throw out the “important game” cliche but…. the Pens need to play well and put this nightmare of a NY team away. NOW.

      GO PENS!!

  8. Tomas Vokoun had .919 save percentage during regular season while Evgeni Nabokov has .846 save percentage in the first four games.

    If the Penguins can just get the same quality performance out of Vokoun as he gave during the regular season, they should have a 2 goal advantage with just the goalie matchup as Nabokov has shown little in the way of stopping shots up high, glove side.

  9. I find it somewhat amusing how panicky Penguin fans are.

    Let me remind you that three years ago I was sitting with my brothers as we watched Iginla make an impossible pass to Crosby who made an impossible shot to crush my hopes of my nation winning its first gold medal in hockey in thirty years.

    The guys are winners and big game players. I bet there isn’t an once of fear or doubt or panic running through their veins. They will win this series.

    • Like you I am somewhat “amused” but I am not quite sure “panic” is the exactly the right word.
      Myself, I am more pissed off than panicked. Expectations are so high for this team (and rightly so) that anything other than complete domination is seen as catastrophic.

      My gut agrees w/your last paragraph. I have not unfastened the lifeboat covers “yet”.:)

      GO PENS!!!

  10. Keys to Victory

    1) Vokoun must play within himself, avoid the emotional rollercoaster that affected Fleury
    2) Puck retrieval by defense has to be fluid, no lazy routes to the puck.
    3) Back-checking by forwards, no passengers, no fly-byes, take the right man.
    4) Limit turnovers reduces odd-man breaks, allows Pens to possess puck, pressure Isles D
    5) Shoot the puck… Nabokov’s .846 sv% is pathetic… no shot is a bad shot.

  11. Regis didn’t tell Mark Streit to “have fun.”

    Certainly a good omen.

  12. Cool, calm, collected…. that must be Tomas Vokoun tonight.

    Let’s Go Pens!

  13. With the complete and total unpredictability of the playoffs, how much you want to bet we see Fleury tonight.

  14. per DK tweet…………

    Iginla announced as starting on RIGHT wing. Well, that took a while.

  15. Look at it this way. Had they swept the Islanders everyone would be talking about rust and long detrimental layoffs like Heat and Sharks fans have been stressing over…

    and so it begins…

  16. Vitale’s speed draws penalty but TK almost erases with late hit after whistle.

  17. Penguins not learning their lesson…

    Neal gets post-whistle penalty as they cut to tv break.

  18. Sutter just standing around on PK…

  19. Much, much different game than the 1st four. I think I’m sensing some nerves.

  20. Vokoun standing tall so far!

  21. And according to DK, some trapping.

    DK: Intermittently, that’s all.

  22. After one period……………

    better goaltending……..
    far fewer turnovers………
    hits have increased………

    looking good so far.
    Just need to bury some pucks.

    • Glad you’re feeling good Hippster!! Wish I could share.

      Too much sloppiness in our zone….again.

      Hope TV stands tall. He will have to. 14-15 shots that period?

      • I am feeling good because we havent turned the puck over 50 times, leading to 2 Islander goals.

        I believe Vokoun will continue to stand tall.
        We just need a goal or 2……… then pressure the Islanders.

        Sloppiness is due to nerves, I believe.

  23. Ottawa are leading (that’s for our Canadian bloggers out there) after one period in Montreal 2-1.

  24. Once Isles got their legs, they took the first period over with their puck pursuit.

    Penguins continue to be sloppy with the puck down low in the defensive zone as defensemen are panicking and moving the puck lazily around the boards to a forward that is standing still and all Isles are doing is attacking the boards, win the race to the puck and then quickly have another forward inside the zone for a one-timer. It happened at least four or five times in that period.

    Another concern, Isles are so quick, that they appear to have backed off the points and once the forward down low in the offensive zone tries to cycle the puck high, wall is shutoff and supporting forward gets to loose puck and carries it up the ice against a Penguins defensemen that looks shaky with their 1-on-1 skills and gives up the blue line.

    Had to laugh, just as Steigy & Errey are praising Malkin for his support high at the point with Letang pinching down low, on the puck retrieval at the defensive blueline, he sends a center ice pass that is easily cutoff and turned over to the Isles.

    • I simply can’t listen to Errey/Steigy anymore. Just tune in Lange and 29. So much easier on the nerves.

  25. Well…..
    What was that – 15 shots by NYI?

    Trying to be positive here but not encouraged if this was to be a defensive “tightening down”.

    Vokoun looks like he hasn’t played in awhile. Or practiced much (only 2 full practices since start of playoffs)…..seems to be struggling to track the pucks and lost rebounds in his pads a couple times.

    But the important part – no goals yet.

    Lots of energy from both sides I think.

    Other than that – I do not see the Pens dramatically taking over this game at all.

  26. Did Crosby play that period?

    Ok, I know he did but he wasn’t too noticeable.

  27. Tide is turning.

  28. Nice effort by Iginla…too bad it went wide

  29. KENNEDY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. TK!!!!!!!!

  31. TK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. TK love is in the house.

  33. Something about selling one’s monkey.

  34. SCORE!@!!!!!!!!

  35. MURRAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Thank you Nabokov!!!!!

  37. I can’t get excited until they show that they can hold a lead.

  38. The Crank SHAFTS one in :)

  39. I freakin knew Kennedy would score. Oh well. I’ll take it.

  40. OMG. I’m seriously not certain I even let in one that bad in all my beer league years. Good Lord Nabby. Seriously?

  41. TK… whatever I said, please forgive me.

  42. Who knew that Dupuis-Crosby-Iginla and Kunitz-Malkin-Neal would be two good lines?

  43. Disregarding the goal by TK, both him and Vitale have been balls of energy and grit out there so far. Puck hogging. TK gets loads of chances and he might miss 93% of the time but he knows how to work for the puck! Keep it up PENS!

    • I agree when most people were hating on TK I wanted him in. He is a little like Joey Mullen was when he played. ( I know I said this before). He brings energy, north south game and not afraid to play in the dirty areaa’.

  44. Holy poop.

  45. SI|D!!!!!!!

  46. BING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Yes, I called out Sid…..

    and look…. LOOK

  48. Same jersey, different players… very similar result to the Mario statue… eerily similar.

  49. Holy Shid!

  50. Lunatics, we can relax. Look at it this way:
    Any result, win or lose, will be just.

  51. OUCH. Sid can’t cut a break

  52. Nice period. Vokoun good enough. Would like to see defense tighten up a little more in 3rd, but playing better as game is progressing.

  53. Keep the forechecking pressure on New York, puck stays low behind Nabokov, it will wear down their defense.

  54. After 2 periods…………

    Turnovers GREATLY reduced……. bout time, eh?
    Pens pressing the Isles……. bout time, eh?
    Vokoun is a wall back there………….. but D is doing a good job clogging the lanes.
    Isles still getting shots, but they are not quality shots. Give D credit there too.
    3 pucks buried!

    This is why I felt good after the 1st period. This game just feels different……….. maybe it is the team being more confident in Vokoun? Maybe its pressing the Isles in the offensive zone? I dont claim to know, but this is what should have happened in Game 4.

    One period to go.

    GO PENS !!!!!

    • I bow to you Hippo!!!

      • Dont bow to me, silly. Bow to the Pens.

        Overlooked in this is the changes Disco Duck made.
        I know a certain segment never wants to give him any credit, but it is working tonight.

        Oh, and Vokoun may be in goal til he falters.
        I mean, many games. But I dont want to get ahead of ourselves.

  55. Fire Byls……..

    Oh, never mind.

  56. That SHOULD have been goal #4

    • you will have to help me count……….. Hippos cant count.

      Game 4 was a nightmare for me……….. too many goals. ;)

      My favorite athlete of all-time?? Why, Sixto Lezcano, of course……… ;)

  57. Hmmm … When they build the Crosby statue, will there be four islanders out there.

  58. what a friggin p^ss^ Martin for the isles is

  59. TANGER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. WOOT!!!!!!!

  61. You don’t penalize Crankshaft. You just don’t.

  62. so how are the Pirates doing???

  63. Bylsma hit gold with every move he made. Kennedy and vitale have played inspired. And vokoun has made it look easy.

  64. That was a horrible call. How can it be interference when the guy was fiddling with the puck ?

  65. Again, just a humble Hippo observation here…………….

    but that PK may be the most important thing in this period.
    I understand the Pens are up 4-0, but you dont want that team to get any momentum.
    Step on their necks, dont let them up.

    Or it could be the fruit punch talking…………

  66. Friggin Malkin

  67. You know. If you take away the losses, it’s still a sweep.


  68. Vokoun is so much better than Fleury handling the puck. Makes a huge difference against an aggressive forechecking team like the Islanders.

  69. Confidence, I mean.

  70. Bylsma’s decisions worked in this one.

    Vokoun, Kennedy, Vitale, Despres… then made another solid adjustment on breakouts, forwards did better back-tracking in D zone and FINALLY Iginla on RW with Sid and Dupuis.

  71. Shut out for Vokoun!!! :) :) :)

  72. hilarious to put Murray and Despres at forward in front of net during PP late in game.

  73. Lets end it on the island! THAT was our Penguins.

    • With the exception of a ton of soft goals in the last game, THAT was the almost Pens, too.

      Scored 4 in the playoffs and only gave up 24 shots. Sometimes they still looked passive, but hey. They were not terrible in game 4. The soft goals were terrible.

      I’ve been a pretty strong believer in MAF. I’m just trying to be honest.

      Look. If Eric can give credit to a coach he’s questioned, why can’t I point out the failings of a goalie I like?

  74. I don’t have to remind this crowd of the Penguins record in home 7th games. They have NEVER won a 7th game at home when they’ve lost game 6. Saturday is a must win.

  75. Catch you lunatics tomorrow :)

  76. This game changed when 12 and 87 started playing together. HCDB needs to get control of 71. He’s due for a breakout game if he can get his emotions under control.

    No changes. None.


  77. With apologies to Sarah, Eric, Pucknuts, and anyone else who is far more able to break down games in great detail……….. I offer the following……

    Tonights game was won before the game. Goaltending change, 12 on 87′s line.
    Turnovers are the key to this series. Games 2 and 4, turnovers killed us. Other games, no. If we play a disciplined game saturday, we will win.

    Pressuring the Islanders in the offensive zone is key also. They turned the puck over tonight due to pressure. They also spent very little time in our zone the last 2 periods.

    Vokoun has the Isles number this year. He needs to stay in goal until he falters, whenever that may be.

    Keeping in mind that the Isles have the last change next game, it will be crucial for Disco Duck to get the proper people on the ice. But effort remains very important.

    I always joke that this Hippo likes to keep things simple. Tonight, the Pens kept it simple, and a great result occurred. We tend to over-analyze things sometimes………… but sometimes it is good to just go back to basics.

    Was it perfect tonight? No, especially the first period. But asd long as the Pens focus, we should be alright.

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