Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Penguins eliminate Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Brooks Orpik scored 7:49 into overtime, and the Penguins overcame three one-goal deficits to eliminate the Islanders with a 4-3 victory in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal Saturday night.

The top-seeded Penguins advanced to face the seventh-seeded Senators in the East semifinals.

Orpik, a defenseman, took a shot from the left point that found its way through traffic and got past goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

Orpik, in his 10th season and a member of Pittsburgh's 2009 Stanley Cup-winning team, had never scored in 77 previous playoff games and didn't have a goal in the previous 106 contests of any kind. He last had scored against the Islanders on Nov. 21, 2011. He now has 12 career goals.

Evgeni Malkin moved the puck from behind the net to Tyler Kennedy, who fed it to Orpik for the winning shot.

"I'm definitely not a goal-scorer, but (Kennedy) laid it right on a tee for me," Orpik said. "I wish I can say I was trying to go there, but I was just trying to put it on net and found a hole."

The Islanders were 5:16 away from sending the series back to Pittsburgh for one more game when defenseman Paul Martin got the Penguins even for the third time.

Malkin also assisted on that goal. He 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. The puck ticked off the stick of Islanders center Franz Nielsen.

"It's my fault," Nielsen said. "I can't put my stick on that. It comes as a slap shot. It's just a reflex. You want to block it."

The Islanders outshot the Penguins 38-21 and outplayed them for most of the game.

"Honestly, we outplayed them in a lot of games," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said. "It seems like it was a game of bounces. … It's frustrating."

Senators: Coach Paul MacLean made it clear that center Jason Spezza is an unlikely participant in the East semifinal against Pittsburgh. The first-line player had surgery Feb. 1 to repair a herniated disc in his back and has not played since. He started skating with the team's extra players Friday, raising hope he could return soon. "To me, (he's) a long way away," MacLean said.

Around the playoffs: All six games of the Kings-Blues West quarterfinal, won by Los Angeles on Friday, were decided by one goal, only the second time a series of at least six games had that occur, the NHL said. The series was either tied or a one-goal game 98.8 percent of the time. The one time it wasn't was when St. Louis had a two-goal lead for 5:01 of Game 4. … Canadiens goalie Carey Price said he sprained a ligament in his left knee in Game 4 of the East quarterfinal loss to the Senators and needs four to six weeks to recover. The injury occurred at the end of regulation. Peter Budaj played the overtime in the loss and the Game 5 series-ender Thursday.

Penguins11114
Islanders20103

First Period1, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 3 (Bailey, Carkner), 5:36. 2, Pittsburgh, Iginla 2 (Crosby, P.Martin), 7:39. 3, N.Y. Islanders, McDonald 2 (Aucoin, Grabner), 19:23. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period4, Pittsburgh, Pa.Dupuis 5 (Vitale, Niskanen), 10:59. PenaltiesMorrow, Pit (boarding), 4:36; Martinek, NYI (cross-checking), 8:40; Cooke, Pit (interference), 14:04; Pittsburgh bench, served by Neal (too many men), 16:28.

Third Period5, N.Y. Islanders, Grabner 1 (Aucoin), 2:21. 6, Pittsburgh, P.Martin 1 (Malkin), 14:44. PenaltiesNone. First Overtime7, Pittsburgh, Orpik 1 (Kennedy, Malkin), 7:49. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalPittsburgh 7-6-6-2—21. N.Y. Islanders 12-16-7-3—38. Power-play opportunitiesPittsburgh 0 of 1; N.Y. Islanders 0 of 3. GoaliesPittsburgh, Vokoun 2-0-0 (38 shots-35 saves). N.Y. Islanders, Nabokov 2-4-0 (21-17).

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