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Saturday February 12, 2011 1:06 pm

Pittsburgh Penguins meet New York Islanders for round two




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Injuries, NHL,

Islanders-PenguinsThe New York Islanders have made a lot of headlines in the last two weeks, which is interesting considering the horrible state of their franchise. After the Isles faced the Penguins last week in a game that saw Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson shut out New York 3-0 and knock Islander goalie Rick DiPietro out with one punch and putting him on the bench for the next month or so, the two teams met again on Friday night with what couldn’t be a more different ending.

Last-string New York goalie Mikko Koskinen, who made his NHL debut on Tuesday and gave up two goals on two shots, helped lead his team to a 9-3 win in a fight-filled romp in New York. The Islanders exacted every form of revenge they could, scoring nine goals, three of which were the 20th marks of the season for John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner. They also lead the charge in two all-out brawls in the second and third periods when Johnson was attacked by seemingly everybody in a blue and orange uniform.

The game mercifully ended three hours after it began and saw 15 fighting majors, 20 misconducts and 10 ejections for a total of 346 penalty minutes. It appears that goonery isn’t limited to team enforcers. Either way, it looks like a new rivalry may be in the works. If the Islanders can find a way to become a competitive team (in the standings, at least) in the next few years, we may be on to something.

New Yorkers tend to remember spectacularly poor performances (see: Mickey Owen of the Brooklyn Dodgers), but Koskinen’s NHL debut probably isn’t in that class. Besides, despite a horribly shaky start, Koskinen is now 2-1 for his career and looks to rack up a few more wins before DiPietro returns. Even though the Islanders aren’t going to get to the playoffs for the fourth straight season, they’re at least giving fans a reason to fill the seats.

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