The New York Islanders are in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2007. That means there have been a lot of springs lately when the lights were off -- and the hope was missing -- at Nassau Coliseum. Had to feel just awful at the time. Probably seems like the good old days now. The Islanders had the misfortune to make their return to postseason play against a deep and talented and highly motivated opponent at Consol Energy Center Wednesday night, and got a 5-0 loss against the Penguins in Game 1 of their opening-round series to show for it. And, while the Penguins' margin of victory doesn't necessarily mean much -- after all, a dominating five-goal decision counts for no more than one earned in five overtimes -- the way they earned it surely does. If coach Dan Bylsma had handed out a to-do list before the game, his players would have checked off just about everything on it. "It was a feel-good kind of game, yes," said winger Pascal Dupuis, who scored two goals. Some of the reasons for that: • Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots to record his sixth career playoff shutout and purge any rancid memories of the 2012 playoffs that he might have retained. • The Penguins' special teams completely outplayed those of the Islanders -- the power play scored on two of four chances, the penalty-killers were 4 for 4. • Center Evgeni Malkin, looking to rebound from a relatively ordinary regular season, was visible just about every time he went over the boards and set up a couple of goals. • Offensive contributions came from all areas of the lineup, as no fewer than 10 players picked up at least one point. • Islanders center John Tavares, an elite talent, was hit at nearly every opportunity, something that could take a toll over the course of the series if it continues. "The way we came out, being physical on their top guys, the way we battled, I don't know if they were expecting that," Dupuis said. New York actually finished with a 41-36 edge in hits, but that stat was a bit misleading. "For most of the game, we made it pretty easy on them," left winger Matt Martin said. "If you do that, they're just going to run up the score on you."
Fleury gets shutout, Dupuis scores twice as Penguins smack Islanders, 5-0
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 2