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Penguins Skate Through Garbage, ‘Players Took Ownership’ in Game 3 Win

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Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, NHL playoffs, Game 3

The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the Round One series 2-1 against the New York Islanders and have again claimed home-ice advantage. It wasn’t easy. It surely wasn’t pretty. And in fact, it was downright ugly in the third period when the New York Islanders used a time-honored tradition to change a game in which they could not keep up.

The Penguins led by two after two periods and eventually won with late dramatics by Brandon Tanev, who swatted a puck out of mid-air for the game-winning goal. The Penguins won Game 3, 5-4.

But down by two and chasing the Penguins, who were increasingly getting the better of New York’s forecheck attack, New York attacked harder. Beyond the whistles, near the net, do what you must. If the refs call it, they call it.

Whistles and legalities mattered less than getting a hit on the Penguins. And a punch. Or a whack.

Five minutes into the third period, the Islanders took Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Kris Letang, and Brian Dumoulin into the penalty box. Fortunately, the penalty boxes were in the vaccinated sections of the Nassau Coliseum because there was no social distancing.

The Islanders got a power play based on a late Jake Guentzel slash, and Anthony Beauvilllier scored on the resulting power play.

Edit: Five Islanders also received penalties, but the Penguins received six minors.

“It was a bit of a rollercoaster tonight. Going into the third up two, (we gave) it back, and then it kind of broke loose there,” Jeff Carter said. “But we stuck with it. It’s a resilient group. You give them up (goals), you get right back on the horse, and get work. And so, you know, it was a real strong game in that sense from our team tonight, sticking with it, grinding it out, and ultimately getting the win.”

In the time honored tradition, if you need a player off the ice or need to change the game–punch him. If he doesn’t respond, punch him again. Or tackle him until he punches back. Use your stick if you can.

Yeah, it’s the worst of hockey. Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin’s face earned a two-minute roughing minor for attacking Kyle Palmieri’s gloves. Sidney Crosby’s vile, despicable helmet wouldn’t stop hitting Islanders’ defenseman Scott Mayfield’s stick.

Crosby’s helmet is such a whiner. Geez.

If only Bryan Rust’s neck weren’t so aggressively attached to his head, he could have spun around to fight two Islanders who were throwing punches.

They apparently don’t have a class on temporary decapitation and escape at Notre Dame. So much for that Catholic education, eh?

Even if the Pittsburgh Penguins tried to skate away, an Islanders player was ready to pull them back into the rodeo. Mike Sullivan used to preach, “Just Play,” but it seems his players have already adopted the philosophy.

“The conversation tonight, a lot of it took place among players, which was great to listen to their dialog on the bench and just trying to stay focused and make sure we play the game that gives us the best chance to win,” Sullivan said. “Certainly, the coaching staff is trying to make sure we help them keep the focus where it needs to be. But tonight, I thought the players took ownership for it, and they were all talking among themselves.”

It’s quite a testament to the Penguins’ maturity. In years past, they would have doubled down on the Islanders attacks with stupid penalties, forgot about the puck, and tried to prove their ‘manhood.”

There were 15 penalties in the third period. Instead, Jeff Carter and Brandon Tanev scored goals to answer the tying goals by Cal Clutterbuck and Anthony Beauvillier.

“Carter was a horse for us tonight. He played a hell of a game. He was a great leader for us on the ice, and obviously, with the penalties, it was an interesting period, to say the least,” Tanev said. “We’re fortunate to come out with that win, and we’re looking forward to the next one.”

In a just world, that’s how the game goes. In a just world, the offenders lose. But that’s not always the case in hockey. In fact, it’s less often the case.

Game 4 may graduate from a WWE rumble to a full street fight.

Physicality is an essential part of the hockey experience. It defines the game and separates the best players from the weaker players. But the stunts and tactics of Thursday night are why too many novice fans turn on the hockey game, then turn off the hockey game.

The Islanders’ fourth liners were already tilting the ice. Had they kept it legal-ish, New York had a much better chance to win. Instead, Cal Clutterbuck went a little too far in trying to duplicate the New York feat of getting the entire Penguins starting lineup in the penalty box and put the Islanders shorthanded.

Carter scored.

New York outhit the Pittsburgh Penguins 46-29 and extended their “hit” lead in the series to 164-115. But that matters far less than the results, though they do add up.

Carter’s go-ahead goal proved vital. Without it, the Penguins don’t get the game-winning goal. Without it, New York likely would have surged ahead.

For one night, justice prevailed. However, you can rest assured that Game 4 will not start with a spot of tea and lively discussions on literature and art.

Make sure the chairs are bolted down.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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crazyhorse87
crazyhorse87
4 months ago

Sounded like the fans were cheering Crosby’s name, i’m so proud of them.

crazyhorse87
crazyhorse87
4 months ago

Montreal beats Toronto with a SHG, Priceless.

Matt p
Matt p
4 months ago

And you actually get paid to write this this crap?

Justin B
Justin B
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Hahahaha

Eric
Eric
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Dan very good article. Not sure why this is” crap”? But heaters gota hate. While I still think we are a little small I am super impressed with the teams character! Especially with how quick we score after the isles score! That had to be disheartening.

Steven Pavlik
Steven Pavlik
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt p

Matt P is either a troll or an Islanders fan.

Johnboye
Johnboye
4 months ago

I’d disagree that this type of hockey isn’t a draw for novice fans.

C Daniel
C Daniel
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

I guess as a novice (2nd season) I’d say I’m not a fan of situations where players are prevented from getting out of scrums, or where someone’s on the ground at risk of being stepped on. (Also didn’t really understand how the officials thought that an NYI pp was a fair result of everything that happened – i.e. Jake’s extra penalty on top of all 5 skaters from both teams being in the boxes, especially if it was just the tap to Palmieri’s legs to get his attention over the noise as they were both being skated off).

Ed Andrews
Ed Andrews
4 months ago
Reply to  C Daniel

Or Barnaby or Cooke or Stevens – Playoff hockey yes it would. Typical Barry Trotz Islander were sucking air so they resorted to being goons to help them. I hope Pitt wins the next two so we can get the Caps vs Pens game

Eric
Eric
4 months ago
Reply to  Johnboye

Only for trump supporters! Yes I did go there.

David Heyl
David Heyl
4 months ago

If the Pens had a guy named Reeves this would never of happened.

Eric
Eric
4 months ago
Reply to  David Heyl

In the playoffs? Yes it would.

longdongsilver
longdongsilver
4 months ago
Reply to  David Heyl

Yes it would have. Sullivan would have had him eating nachos up in the press box.

Jackmccrory
Jackmccrory
4 months ago
Reply to  longdongsilver

That’s true. Not his type of player. He’s not 5’9” and fast

MIke
MIke
4 months ago

You have it wrong regarding the situation that led to the NYI PPG; all five players from each team were in the box. The PP was the result of the extra slash Guentzel gave Palmieri on the way to the penalty box.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  MIke

The slash call was the most laughably bad one of the night. Tap on the leg to get the dude’s attention.

Eric
Eric
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Fisher

No really. The refs were attempting to gain control of the situation.

Katz
Katz
4 months ago
Eric
4 months ago

What a horribly biased article. Your prior two years of losing in the playoffs have made you a whiney little girl.

You get paid for this drivel?

Donny
Donny
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric

@Eric: Most of us understand that it must be difficult living in the shadow of New York and New Jersey.

Reggie
Reggie
4 months ago

What game were you watching?

MickeyBoy7
MickeyBoy7
4 months ago

This homer article is pure trash. The idea that the NY Islanders who absorb more slashes, punches and elbows without getting a power play than any team in the league gooned it up is ridiculous. And poor innocent Sidney? what crapola.

Alex Hollinsworth
Alex Hollinsworth
4 months ago

Who’s the garbage now????

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