Penguins eliminate Islanders
Brooks Orpik’s overtime goal sends Pittsburgh to second round
Brooks Orpik scored 7:49 into overtime, and the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame three one-goal deficits in Game 6 to eliminate the New York Islanders with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.
Orpik, a defenseman, took a shot from the left point that might have clipped Islanders forward Brad Boyes on its way past goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
The Penguins advanced to face the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the playoffs despite being outshot 38-21 in the decisive win.
The Islanders were just 5:16 away from sending the series back to Pittsburgh for one more game when another defenseman, Paul Martin, got the Penguins even for the third time.
Evgeni Malkin assisted on the tying and winning goals. On Martin’s goal, Malkin curled behind the New York net with the puck and sent a hard pass high in the zone to Martin, who ripped a drive through traffic in front.
Michael Grabner had given the Islanders a 3-2 edge 2:21 into the third.
He scored his second career NHL postseason goal off a feed from Keith Aucoin to give the Islanders their third lead — on their 30th shot — against the top-seeded Penguins. The goal left Pittsburgh netminder Tomas Vokoun sprawled out on his stomach.
The teams had alternated wins since the Penguins took the opener 5-0 at home. Pittsburgh got into position to advance to the second round for the first time since 2010 when it won 4-0 in Game 5 with Vokoun in goal instead of Marc-Andre Fleury.
Vokoun had trouble early matching the success he had all season against the Islanders, but still pulled out the win. The Penguins had lost all three previous postseason meetings with the Islanders — including two defeats in Game 7.
John Tavares, Colin McDonald and Grabner gave New York leads in each period. Aucoin had two assists, and Nabokov made 17 saves.
Jarome Iginla tied it in the first, and Pascal Dupuis made it 2-2 in the second for Pittsburgh, which got 35 saves from Vokoun.
Despite being outplayed for much of the game — as evident by the shot disparity of 28-13 through two periods — the Penguins entered the third in a 2-2 tie.
Pittsburgh overcame a pair of New York power plays in the second — including one for too many men on the ice that had coach Dan Bylsma irate on the bench — and got even again when Dupuis scored his fifth of the series with 9:01 remaining.
Joe Vitale raced along the right wing boards and flung the puck in front to Dupuis, who redirected it past Nabokov.
The Islanders showed no signs of nervousness or that the moment was too big for them, despite the lack of playoff experience throughout the roster.