Published January 13, 2015
Pascal Dupuis scored twice and Marc-Andre Fleury posted a shutout with 26 saves to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-0 thumping of the New York Islanders in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Playing without team captain Sidney Crosby, who still has no timetable for a return as he has not been medically cleared after suffering a broken jaw on March 30, top-seeded Pittsburgh put on a clinic in the first two periods then held firm in the third to grab a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven series.
Tanner Glass, Beau Bennett and Kris Letang all scored for the Penguins, who are in the playoffs for a seventh straight year but have been bounced in the first round the past two seasons. Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen and Evgeni Malkin each posted two assists.
"You obviously want to win the first one and play well," said Dupuis. "But we've spent the past 20 games or so playing well and winning those one-goal games, so we know what winning looks like."
Evgeni Nabokov was chased from the net early in the second period after allowing four goals on 15 shots for the eighth-seeded Islanders, who are in the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Kevin Poulin stopped 10-of-11 shots the rest of the way.
"I just thought our execution was very poor tonight," said New York head coach Jack Capuano. "When you spent the night chasing the puck the whole time you're not going to accomplish much."
Game 2 will be played Friday night at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh took the lead 3:30 in on an early power play when Bennett brought the puck down the right wing and from a sharp angle was able to lift the puck over Nabokov.
Just under 10 minutes later, it was a 2-0 game as a flurry in front of the net saw Nabokov come out to make a save, but Dupuis was able to chip in the rebound.
The Pens came into the second period on a power play and it turned into a 5- on-3 after Marty Reasoner was called for tripping 54 seconds in. Letang made it a 3-0 game with a snap shot from the left circle at 1:19, just three seconds after the original penalty expired.
It didn't take long for the Penguins to again find the back of the net, as Mark Eaton fed the puck from the left point to the slot, where Dupuis backhanded it in just 32 seconds after the Letang goal for a 4-0 lead and a goaltending change.
Poulin didn't fare much better as he was victimized on a shot from a bad angle at the left boards by Glass at the 13:07 mark to give Pittsburgh a 5-0 advantage.
Fleury finished off the shutout with eight saves in the final period.
Pittsburgh left wing James Neal left early in the second period with a possible lower body injury and did not return. He notched a hat trick in the final game of the regular season after missing the previous eight games with a concussion ... This is the fourth time these two clubs are meeting in the playoffs. The Isles won the previous three series, including a victory in the division finals in 1993 which was the last time the Islanders won a playoff series ... It was the sixth career playoff shutout for Fleury.