Archive

Islanders outwork Penguins to sweep back-to-back meetings | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Islanders outwork Penguins to sweep back-to-back meetings

20141123T022301Z1MTZEABNGZYDX3RTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
Penguins goaltender Thomas Greiss makes a save against Islanders center Casey Cizikas during the second period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459427714
Getty Images
The Penguins' Steve Downie fights the Islanders' Travis Hamonic during the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
PenguinsIslandersHockeyJPEG0b424
Former Islanders goalie Billy Smith drops a ceremonial puck between Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Islanders center John Tavares in the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
20141123T012440Z1MTZEABNGX94RPRTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin reacts after scoring in the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459427906
Getty Images
The Penguins' Sidney Crosby is checked by the Islanders' Frans Nielsen during the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459427840
Getty Images
The Penguins' Beau Bennett is checked by the Islanders' Anders Lee during the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459427654
Getty Images
The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin celebrates his first-period goal against the Islanders on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459427696
Getty Images
The Penguins' Steve Downie fights the Islanders' Travis Hamonic during the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459427788
Getty Images
Thomas Hickey of the Islanders is hit by Craig Adams of the Penguins during the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459428952
Getty Images
Zach Sill of the Penguins hits Casey Cizikas of the Islanders during the second period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459429020
Getty Images
The Islanders' Frans Nielsen is checked by the Penguins' Patric Hornqvist during the second period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
PenguinsIslandersHockeyJPEG000eb
Penguins goalie Thomas Greiss stops a shot by Islanders center Casey Cizikas in the second period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459429140
Getty Images
Penguins goalie Thomas Greiss makes a second-period save on the Islanders' Casey Cizikas on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459428994
Getty Images
The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin is hit by the Islanders' Brock Nelson during the second period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
PenguinsIslandersHockeyJPEG0f2b5
Penguins goalie Thomas Greiss, center Marcel Goc (57), defenseman Paul Martin (7), defenseman Kris Letang (58) and center Evgeni Malkin (71) react as the Islanders celebrate Matt Martin's goal that tied the score 1-1 in the second period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
PenguinsIslandersHockeyJPEG0cb28
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (stops a shot by Penguins right wing Beau Bennett as the Islanders' Calvin de Haan defends in the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
20141123T022108Z1MTZEABNGZV8WORTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
Islanders left wing Matt Martin celebrates after scoring in the second period against the Penguins on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
20141123T012449Z1MTZEABNGX9DRRRTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
Penguins right wing Steve Downie and Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic fight during the first period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
20141123T035820Z1MTZEABNH4D8AXRTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
Penguins left wing Blake Comeau and Islanders center John Tavares battle for the puck during the third period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
459432236
Getty Images
Penguins goaltender Thomas Greiss makes a save on the Islanders' John Tavares on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
PenguinsIslandersHockeyJPEG02bc0
Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates John Tavares's goal as Penguins goalie Thomas Greiss, defenseman Paul Martin (7) and center Brandon Sutter react in the third period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
20141123T033447Z1MTZEABNH3A07IRTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) and Islanders center John Tavares battle for the puck during the third period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
PenguinsIslandersHockeyJPEG07a19
Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) celebrates center John Tavares' (91) goal with right wing Kyle Okposo (21), left wing Nikolay Kulemin (86) and defenseman Johnny Boychuk as Penguins defenseman Kris Letang reacts in the third period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
20141123T030500Z1MTZEABNH1WC2PRTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak reacts after a 4-1 victory over the Penguins on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
20141123T030622Z1MTZEABNH1YM34RTRFIPP800HKNPENGUINSISLANDERS
USA Today Sports
The Islanders celebrate after defeating the Penguins, 4-1, on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.
PenguinsIslandersHockeyJPEG038ce
Referees separate Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic (3) and Penguins left wing Zach Sill during a fight in the third period Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Uniondale, N.Y.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Many things in hockey are subjective and left open to interpretation.

Here’s one that’s not: You won’t score if you don’t shoot.

The Penguins are aware of this, but in case they forgot, they got a refresher course during Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, a defeat that can be attributed to their inability to generate a volume of shots or legitimate scoring chances.

“We have to put more pucks on net, there’s no question,” Brandon Sutter said. “It seems like that’s been our staple the past couple weeks: shooting lots of pucks and outshooting teams. (Saturday) it went the other way on us.”

Coach Mike Johnston’s team entered the game fourth in the NHL in shots per game at 31.8. They finished with 28 against the Islanders. Their opponent had 35.

Many of the Penguins’ shot attempts came from outside the slot or the home-plate shaped area dubbed the red zone.

Defenseman Kris Letang told the Tribune-Review earlier this season that Johnston instructed his players to tally 10 shots on goal before the midway point of the first period.

On Saturday, the Penguins didn’t record 10 shots until well into the second period and needed a late flurry to finish the first period with nine shots on goal.

“As the game went along, they took over in that area,” Johnston said. “They took over getting pucks to the net and also finding those loose rebounds.”

The first time the Penguins played the Islanders, forward Patric Hornqvist recorded 12 shots. He had one attempt Saturday, nothing on goal.

Whether it was the Islanders playing a tight-checking game or clogging lanes or the Penguins being too choosy, Jaroslav Halak was allowed to remain comfortable for much of the night.

The loss snapped the Penguins’ stretch of four consecutive wins at Nassau Coliseum and dropped their road record to 7-2-1.

Islanders forward Anders Lee tipped in a bouncing puck for the winning goal at 2:38 of the third period.

The Penguins’ passivity spilled over into the special-teams battle as they were awarded just one power play. They’ve been on the power play twice over the past three games.

In the third period with the Penguins down 2-1, Steve Downie delivered a blindside hit to Thomas Hickey. He was called for interference and given a 10-minute misconduct.

The Islanders stretched their lead to 3-1 just 46 seconds later when Brock Nelson scored a power-play goal.

John Tavares added another goal for the Islanders (14-6-0), who are tied with the Penguins (13-4-2) atop the Metropolitan Division after winning eight of their past nine games.

Not only did the Islanders rack up a 69-44 advantage in shot attempts, but they also were the more physical team.

Craig Adams tried to hit Johnny Boychuk and Matt Martin and fell down. Travis Hamonic threw a punch — legal or not — at Hornqvist that knocked the Penguins forward backward several feet.

“We didn’t give ourselves a very big push in the third period to give ourselves a chance to get the lead,” center Sidney Crosby said. “They raised their level, and we didn’t.”

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jm[email protected] or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.