The Pittsburgh Penguins trail the New York Rangers by one point in the race for first place in the Eastern Conference. With the Rangers in action, the Pens had a chance to take over the top spot on Tuesday night but after two periods, the Rangers' neighbors on Long Island are putting it to Dan Bylsma's club.
Even though Pittsburgh peppered Evgeni Nabokov with 17 shots, the Isles took a two-goal lead in the first period. Pittsburgh came out ready to play in the second and evened it up in the span of four minutes. Tyler Kennedy scored his 10th goal of the year just a minute into the second period and James Neal would add his 36th of the season just three minutes later. Kennedy deflected a shot from the right circle by Pascal Dupuis while Neal went high on a one-timer sent by Chris Kunitz.
But the Isles would respond in the big way. They certainly have not rolled over for the red-hot Pens. New York rattled off three unanswered goals over the final eight minutes. Despite out-shooting the Islanders 32-18, Pittsburgh was sloppy with the puck and their opponent took full advantage. Kyle Okposo gave New York the lead again on a rocket wrist shot which beat Marc-Andre Fleury's glove side. David Ullstrom made it a two-goal lead again, converting a power play shot and knocking in a rebound in front of Fleury. Finally, Frans Nielsen would score his second of the night on a breakaway to make it 5-2.
In a three-goal hole, the Pens will need to put the offensive pressure on early and shore up the mistakes to get back in it.