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We are getting set for the opening face off here. This is my very first live blog from the Blog Box and I must say I am pretty excited! Pretty good crowd for a mid-week game, maybe 9k, I would say maybe 10k now that the first period is almost over.

First Period

7:08 PM Big Joe (Vasicek) set to take the draw, clean win and we are under way!
7:09 PM Fedotenko in front forces Conklin to make the stop.
7:11 PM Pens take the first penalty for a change, Staal 2 minutes for holding. ISLANDERS POWER PLAY.
7:12 PM And like that, Fedotenko called for hooking to even things up.
7:13 PM AND JUST LIKE THAT Isles man up again – Pens Ruutu 2 minutes hooking (Way to make a debut Ruutu). Islanders 4-on-3′
7:14 PM 4-on-4 for for 38 seconds
7:16 PM A rare….even strength shift for both teams.
7:19 PM Islanders are out shooting and out hustling the Penguins pretty good here – Pittsburgh is yet to register a shot on goal just yet (as much as I don’t want to say that).

7:22 PM Tambellini with a shot of Conklin’s cage.
7:23 PM Comeau with a nice shot getting it on net, Hilbert controlled the rebound and rimmed it around. Guerin accepts a pass and takes a nice shot that Conklin had to hold on to.

7:26 PM Hunter with a great back check breaks up an offensive zone rush for Pittsburgh.
7:27 PM Malkin frees up in front and gets to a rebound, makes his teams second count shot and it’s 1-0 Penguins
7:29 PM Davison makes his appearance from the locker room, with 7:06 PM. I don’t envy him – showing up late (due to flights) and not knowing many people on the team – yet trying to be your teams difference maker. Best of luck.

7:32 PM Pittsburgh takes ANOTHER penalty, Gonchar 2 minutes for holding. The Islanders NEED to get on the board here.’
7:33 PM NOW THEY REALLY NEED TO SCORE, 2 MINUTES DELAY OF GAME PENS, 5-on-3 Islanders just over a minute and a half.

7:35 PM Decent puck movement by the Islanders, but they need bodies in front. Half minute remains for the 2 man advantage.
7:36 PM Nothing really going for the Islanders, Gonchar sprang into the Isles zone and Satan made a nice play to break things up. Vasicek the other way – Conklin with the save.

7:40 PM Off the face off Park called for 2 minutes holding the stick.
7:41 PM Another shorthanded odd man rush, Hunter takes the shot and Conklin juggles it. Play comes back the other way and the Islanders are penalized again; 2 minutes hooking on Gervais.

7:43 PM 2-0 Penguins, despite being outshot 21-3. Pens still on the power play as the last tally came shorthanded.
7:45 PM One minute left in the first period, thank goodness.

No matter when the Islanders outshoot their opponents by a wide margin, I cant ever really help but to be worried because the lack of scoring always comes back to haunt them. This period, without all the penalties and power play goals – would’ve seen the Islanders fairing a bit better than 2-0 on the scoreboard. Tom and I knew that the Pens would come out fired up after all their teams wheeling and dealing today, but we also thought the Islanders would put out a decent effort given their GM kept the team relatively intact. Hopefully Ted Nolan talks to the guys and gets them settled down for the second period.

Second Period

8:04 PM Second period begins.
8:05 PM Penguins penalty, 2 minutes high sticking on Staal (maybe he ran the stairs too hard today)
8:07 PM Conklin gloves down a point shot by Berard (I think). 30 seconds remaining in the Islanders man advantage.
8:08 PM Islanders 0-5 on the power play tonight, cannot win hockey games (or come from behind when you cant score even strength or men up).

8:11 PM Delayed penalty on Pittsburgh. 2 Minutes hooking Laraque – do or die time boys.
8:14 PM Another power play by the wayside – as the Islander blow a 2-on-0 break.
8:15 PM The boo birds are out in force tonight after an icing (the first of the game we think here in the box) by the Islanders.
8:19 PM Nielsen sharp angle, shoots – he SCORES!!!!! 2-1 Pittsburgh.
8:24 PM Davison with some booming shots from the point – Tom, Ken and I comment on him being a replacement in a sense because it hit the glass (high and wide) pretty hard.

8:27 PM Laraque 2 minutes high sticking, yet another chance for the Islanders on the power play.
8:30 PM Islanders called for icing – come up empty on the power play due to some sloppy passing, including a give away in their own zone.

8:34 PM Pittsburgh penalty on Letang, 2 minutes for slashing.
8:35 PM One minute remaining in the second period – power play carry over if they cannot convert here.

The Islanders will begin the third period on the power play with 34 seconds remaining. I don’t think I have ever said this before – but the team needs TO BE MORE SELFISH. The Penguins had a bunch of turnovers in prime goal scoring territory, but the Islanders either made entirely too many passes or held onto the puck too long. They need to SHOOT when they are in the position to do so. The team is now 0-8 on the power play – and given they are trailing in a game where they are out shooting their opponents, this needs to change. Score one at even strength and one on the man advanatage then continue to play their game and they could take this one. We shall see which team comes out in third.

Third Period

8:57 PM Late getting back to the blog box – appeared the goal crossed the line, but it was ruled otherwise.
8:59 PM Conklin slows down a shot from the point, offensive zone draw won by Pittsburgh.
9:02 PM The trail referee just called holding on Martinek, who was doing an outstanding job keeping his man wide.
9:08 PM I am having a hard time juggling blogging, and taking pictures – kudos to Tom and Dee for doing this almost every game.
9:13 PM Offensive zone draw here, the Islanders need to keep the great pressure on the Pens.
9:15 PM Pens scored on a delayed Islanders penalty; looks like Staal and it’s 3-1 Penguins. Crowd is now starting to head towards the exits.

9:18 PM DiPietro hears jeers from the crowd for making a catch, Davison just levels a Penguin along the penalty box boards.
9:19 PM Islanders will eventually register their 50th shot on goal, despite being down by two goals.
9:21 PM Islanders getting called for a tripping penalty here, Fedotenko heads to the box. Maybe the Islanders can find some magic while down two men?
9:24 PM Well….that plan didn’t work. Pittsburgh just scored on the power play for the second time tonight.
9:24 PM Comrie with the fight! Jon Sim giving Comrie a pat on the back as he heads to the locker room.
9:29 PM Malkin off for tripping, Isles score a late power play goal. Fedotenko banging home the rebound alone in front.
9:30 PM Well the Islanders tried, out shot their opponents 52-20 and came up two goals short. Off to the press conference!