Crosby, Vokoun restore order as Penguins take 3-2 lead over Islanders

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(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)The Associated Press Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby gets off a breakaway shot for a goal past New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov in the second period of Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)The Associated Press Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby (87) gets the puck past New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) for a goal in the second period of Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)The Associated Press Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun (92) stops a shot by New York Islanders’ Brad Boyes (24) during the first period of Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)The Associated Press Next Slide Previous Slide PITTSBURGH –  Sidney Crosby picked up the touch pass from Jarome Iginla near center ice and sprinted toward the New York Islanders’ net. Broken jaw or no broken jaw, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain had only one destination in mind. It hardly mattered three Islanders — defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and Thomas Hickey and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov — were in the way. A handful of powerful strides, a little tap to keep the puck out of danger and one wicked wrist shot later, Crosby was in the corner celebrating and the Islanders were reeling. Crosby’s eye-popping goal provided the exclamation point in a 4-0 win in Game 5 on Thursday night as the Penguins took a 3-2 series lead. source: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/05/10/crosby-vokoun-restore-order-as-penguins-take-3-2-lead-over-islanders/

Islanders star John Tavares joins Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin as Hart Trophy finalists

Sidney Crosby, who missed 12 games with injuries in this shortened season, still finishes fourth in scoring with 56 points.

“It’s a great honor, a tremendous honor just to be recognized, especially with those two guys and what great players they are,” Tavares said. Still, Tavares — whose team is facing a must-win Saturday night in Game 6 against Crosby’s Penguins at the Coliseum — added, “As great as the honor is, you play for one reason and that’s to be a part of a team and compete for a Stanley Cup.” Gene J. Puskar/AP Sidney Crosby, who missed 12 games with injuries in this shortened season, still finishes fourth in scoring with 56 points. Tavares finished third in the NHL in goals with 28 and led the Islanders with 47 points in 48 games. Fifteen of his goals came away from home, propelling the Islanders to a .667 road winning percentage, the best in franchise history. The center also ranked in the league’s top 10 in even-strength goals (19), power-play goals (nine) and game-winning goals (five). “For me, when you look at MVPs and you look at elite players in this league, I always look at what that player does for your team,” Isles coach Jack Capuano said. “Let’s face it, if John Tavares doesn’t have the season that he had, we’re probably not in the situation that we’re in. There’s no doubt that he should be in that category.” Tavares, 22, did help the franchise reach its first postseason since 2007, but the Islanders now face elimination. The upstart Isles have battled hard to take two games from top-seeded Pittsburgh, but a 4-0 blowout loss in Game 5 Thursday has them on the ropes. source: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/isles-tavares-joins-crosby-ovechkin-hart-finalists-article-1.1340353

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Fleury Will Ride Bench, but for How Long?

Is Bylsma intent on sitting Fleury just one game to clear his head, or will he ride Vokoun as long as the Czech veteran keeps winning? “We brought Tomas Vokoun in to play big games for us,” said Bylsma in announcing the move on Wednesday to avoid game-day drama. “He’s done that this year for us and he has been very good against the Islanders in three games he’s played.” In the three games he played against the Islanders this season, Vokoun was 3-0 with a 0.90 GAA and .970 save percentage. Or more to the point, pretty much the polar opposite of how Fleury’s been trending over the past week. While they won’t say it publicly, the Penguins braintrust have to be losing patience with Fleury. After last season’s abysmal and embarrassing early exit, the players, coaches, executives and fans all rushed to Fleury’s defense with the tried-if-not-true excuses: He was tired, because backup Brent Johnson was too dangerously bad to offer Fleury a break; the defense hung him out to dry too often; he was possibly playing injured. This season, Fleury had an extended lockout during which to rest; the offseason acquisition and signing of Vokoun gave Fleury someone to not only push him in a friendly competition, but provide a competent replacement to spell him often. Defense leaving him under siege? Except for a poor performance in Game 2, the Penguins blueline has been relatively solid if not perfect, limiting the Isles to just 24 shots in Game 4. For those goals that Fleury saw fit to knock into his own goal himself and for his “Duck the puck” maneuver in Game 2 which was overlooked because the shot sailed fortunately high over the net, there is no one and nothing else to blame – save for Fleury and his maddening mental lapses. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/pittsburgh-penguins-fleury-ride-bench-long-152900746.html

 

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