Friday, March 23, 2007

Pittsburgh 1 - Islanders 3: DiPietro'd

Another tough game for Sidney Crosby and the Penguins as Rick DiPietro made 35 saves in a 3-1 Penguins loss to the New York Islanders.

Sidney finished with 0 points and EVEN in 21:43 of ice time. As he's been doing a lot lately, Sidney has been shooting lots (4 SOG), but struggling to score at the pace he was earlier in the season.

From Yahoo! Sports:
The New York Islanders are a totally different team with Rick DiPietro in goal.

DiPietro, who missed three games due to a head injury, turned aside 35 shots, and the Islanders snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 Thursday night.

"I believe we have confidence in our game with Ricky in there," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "He was one of the big reasons we won."

The man with the 15-year contract has 31 of New York's 35 wins with a 2.51 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. The Islanders returned home from an 0-3-1 trip, a stretch in which DiPietro missed mostly all but the final game.

Trent Hunter, Jason Blake and Viktor Kozlov scored for the Islanders after spotting the Penguins a 1-0 lead. The Islanders moved one point ahead of Toronto and into 10th place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They trail Carolina and Montreal -- at the playoff cutoff -- by one point but have games in hand.

"Every point is a big point, and the whole team has to respond," Kozlov said. "If we can continue to play the same way every game, we'll have a good chance."

Colby Armstrong scored and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 saves for the Penguins, who after a defeat at the New York Rangers on Monday, have lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Jan. 9-10.

"It was good, hard hockey," Penguins forward Mark Recchi said. "We just want to keep trying to do the things we do best to win games."

The Islanders also snapped Pittsburgh's 16-game point streak with a 6-5 victory on Feb. 19. The Penguins remained two points behind New Jersey in the Atlantic Division race.

Penguins 19-year-old phenom Sidney Crosby was held scoreless for the second straight game, following a six-game point streak.

"He made some good saves," Crosby said of DiPietro, "but we also didn't put in a bunch of pucks with an open net or behind him."

Now, now, Sid. Just admit it, you didn't play well and the Isles simply shut you down.

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