World news – Empty thoughts: penguins 6, islanders 3


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You’d think it would be worse off, minus the Evgeni Malkin franchise ability to do that is currently in an injured reserve.

And it certainly wouldn’t get any better if his successor, a skilled and experienced winger like Kasperi Kapanen, also ended up in an injured reserve.

So if Jared McCann, one Robust but inconsistent striker, stepping in, there is no way the Penguins’ sputter-power game will ever gain ground, is it?

Two games after McCann’s appearance in the top power play unit, the Penguins have their first Scored four goals in over a year and scored multiple powerplay goals in consecutive games. After beating the admittedly sad Buffalo Sabers 2-4 in their 4-0 home win on Thursday, they were again 2-4 against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

For McCann, he helped after both power play- Goals against the Sabers had to prepare striker Bryan Rust for the decisive goal in the power play against the islanders.

« I have to have a shoot-first mentality, » said McCann via video conference. « I have a decent shot. I have to look to use it a bit more here. But if (strikers Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Rust or defenseman Kris Letang) are open I’ll try to find them. I’ll mine Hold your head up and try to find her. « 

At some point, McCann will lose this gig. Malkin will be well again and he will pose a threat few others in the NHL can bring with the thunderbolt of a one-timer from the right circle.

But for now, the penguins seem to be finding something that isn’t perfect McCann fits.

« He brings a bit of another dimension, » said coach Mike Sullivan. « He’s very good at stepping off that strong side wall, just stepping off the wall and getting into the points. And he’s such a threat with his shooting ability and his ability to score goals. It presents a different look to our power play . He’s a really good power play guy. That’s one of Jared’s strengths. We’ve used him there on occasion over the years since we had him, depending on who we had in our line-up. But that’s certainly one of them Jared’s strengths and I just think it changes the look a bit from a threat point of view. « 

The Penguins took the lead 1-0 and 5:48. From his own right corner, Penguins defender Marcus Pettersson slid a pass onto the blue line of defense for striker Colton Sceviour, who touched him once to storm Sam Lafferty and rush through the neutral zone. Lafferty conquered the offensive zone on the left flank and with striker Frederick Gaudreau prevailed against defender of the islanders, Thomas Hickey. Lafferty pulled Hickey into the left circle and gave Gaudreau a forehand pass, who lifted a wrister past goalkeeper Ilya Sorokin’s glove to score his first goal as a member of the Penguins. Lafferty and Sceviour collected assists.

They made it a 2-0 advantage at 10:07 a.m. of the first period. After a neutral zone turnover from the islanders, McCann won the offensive zone at speed, lost it for a moment, and then won it back in the slot. McCann left the game behind for a moment, supplying striker Evan Rodrigues with a pass over the left circle who threw an ankle of a wrist past Sorokin’s blocker on the near side for his fourth goal of the season. Assists went to McCann and Ceci.

First, 4:26 in the second period, striker Sidney Crosby scored his 14th goal. Defender Kris Letang put a puck on the right point of the offensive zone, stepped back to the center and pushed up a slapper, which hit the penguins forward. Jake Guentzel to the right of the crease. During the goal maw fight that ensued, Crosby snuck in undetected from the right circle, collected the loose puck and lifted a backhand player through the legs of Islanders’ defender Scott Mayfield. Güntzel and Letang were credited with assists.

Thereupon Rust scored his 12th goal less than two minutes later at 6:18. McCann took a pass at the left point of the offensive zone and fed it in the close circle for Crosby, who touched him to the slot where Rust tore a wrister through Sorokin’s five holes. Assists were picked up by Crosby and McCann.

The Islanders drew Sorokin in favor of Semyon Varlamov, but that did little to hamper the Penguins or Rust, who in a situation of even strength a little more than two minutes later at 8 : Scored another goal at 9 p.m.

Güntzel chased Islanders defender Adam Pelech to a turnover behind New York’s net, picked up the puck and set a pass from the right wall at the right point for Letang, the one One-timer was playing. Varlamov initially saved, but allowed a rebound over the fold, which Rust lifted with a backhand player past Valramov’s blocker into the net. Letang and Güntzel made assists.

The islanders came on the scoreboard at 10:47 a.m. of the second period. Güntzel took a wrister from the left half wall of the offensive zone, which went far on the other side and hit the glass in the right corner. After Crosby failed to collect the rebound on the right wall, an outbreak broke out for Islanders’ forward Mathew Barzal. Taking advantage of a poor Penguin line change, Barzal pulled up his left wing, shot past a lethargic letang, grabbed the net and lifted a wrister past Tristan Jarry’s glove to score his tenth goal. Mayfield had the only support.

Barzal’s talents resulted in another goal of 5:23 in the third half. Barzal ran up the left wing into the offensive zone, danced around a poke check from Pettersson and attacked the net. After Jarry refused Barzal’s forehand shot, Islanders’ forward Anthony Beauvillier followed the sequence, shooting a forehand shot on the rebound for his sixth goal. Barzal and defenseman Nick Leddy have counted assists.

The Islanders made it a 5-3 game at 17:33 of the third. During a four-on-four sequence, they drew Varlamov for an extra attacker and it paid off. The Islanders forward Josh Bailey controlled the puck on the right half of the offensive zone and gave Brock Nelson a pass on the end boards. From there, Nelson distributed the puck to the right-hand circle for striker Jordan Eberle, who scored his seemingly mandatory goal against the Penguins by lashing a wrister over Jarry’s left shoulder on the near side for his eleventh goal. Nelson and Bailey had support.

A goal from Rust with an empty net completed the hat-trick at 7:18 pm in the third half. The score was unsupported.

• There was a time when Rust scored, which was kind of a novelty. It didn’t happen all the time, but when it did it was nice. Nowadays it is normal or common for him to collect gates in bundles. Almost loud.

His entire game has grown over time, but the way he has contributed to his scoring throughout his career is something amazing. He used to just toss pucks in the net hoping they’d go in. Now he’s a little more calculating with how he shoots.

• Lafferty has put together a handful of solid games over the past week. His attempt at goal setting lately, in particular, has been impressive.

His second NHL season has been up and down a bit to be nice. Inconsistent, being blunt. Either way, he needed some nice games to balance things out for him.

• Gaudreau scored his first NHL goal in more than two years. He seems really grateful to only be in the NHL. In order for him to put together a three-game series, a first in his career, he has to be particularly profound.

• After striker Mark Jankowski (as well as Brandon Tanev) is on the list of absences of the NHL in connection with the Covid -19 minutes were recorded, the Penguins recalled rookie striker Drew O’Connor from the taxi squad and played his first NHL game since February. 25. It would be a stretch to say that while playing he was noticed on the fourth line. He logged 6:24 Ice Age in 11 shifts and had one shot in three attempts.

• The penguins’ penalty kick is on a kind of heater. It has been perfect in the last five games (17 for 17). And the Penguins have recently been without the services of three of their most regular strikers with penalties, Teddy Blueger and Jankowski and Tanev.

• Jarry had a heavy penalty in the first half. That was his second penalty of the season. He is now tied with Darcy Kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes for penalty minutes under this season’s goalkeepers by four.

• The way Barzal tried to carry the insult to the Islanders in this game should remind us how talented he is. In terms of pure pucking skills, he’s probably one of the top five players in the NHL.

• If the Islanders even had an average game of Sorokin to open this game, this might have been a very different competition.

• Gaudreau scored his first goal in the NHL since December 31, 2018. As a member of the Nashville Predators, Gaudreau scored the winning goal in a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals.

• Rust has the first hat trick of Recorded penguins of the season. He had the only hat trick last season, scoring three goals in a 7-3 home win over the Ottawa Senators on March 3, 2020.

• It took the Penguins a little over eight years between hat tricks against the islanders . Striker Chris Kunitz scored three goals in a 6-6 home win on March 10, 2013.

• Rust (198 points) outperformed striker George Ferguson (195) for 43rd place on the franchise’s career scoring list.

• Crosby (1,302 points) surpassed striker Jarome Iginla (1,300), an ex-teammate, for 35th place in the NHL career rating.

• Crosby now has 122 career points (39 goals, 83 assists) in 74 games against the islanders.

• Sullivan talked about putting on a line-up with so many players trying to prove their place in the NHL:

« These guys who have the opportunity Playing at the NHL level brings a level of urgency, a level of competition, and an excitement that can be contagious. If you look at the list we have right now, some of the guys on the line-up brought us a certain amount of excitement that helped the whole group.

“I think of Freddy Gaudreau, (Striker Radim) Zohorna comes to mind, (striker) Anthony Angello. Some of these guys we added to the lineup are excited to be there. They want to prove that they belong here. So you bring some degree of urgency to your game. And that can be contagious through our bank. These guys are having a positive effect on our team right now. “

• Lafferty spoke to so many younger players on the line-up about the feeling of the team:

 » There’s a little more urgency than usual. Everyone knows we have to contribute here. I think we went through a bit here last year. So I got a little taste of where we’d hurt a lot of people and different guys showed up every night. It’s something we have to keep going if we want to keep winning here.  » « It was great just getting into the line-up. I obviously didn’t play in the NHL long before the first game in (New) Jersey (March 18th). Since I didn’t play, that’s all I did I worked to get back in this league. To be able to come back and feel good on the ice and feel the trust of my coaches and teammates felt really good. It was great. « 

 » Had tonight I honestly do that Feeling that there are about five players at the start today. After the second lesson, I just said, « Look, you got everyone to stand up for you. » All 20 players seem to choose the penguins. “I was walking around the room and basically counting in my head… I got a feeling like there were five or six guys just walking. You can’t beat good teams if there aren’t that many people around. Tonight it was one of those games where we didn’t have many A games from our group. « 

Seth Rorabaugh is a contributor to the Tribune Review. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or on Twitter.

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