Saying the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins have grown not to like each other is like saying a few people in Egypt want freedom. Yes, bigtime understatement.
Less than two weeks after literally slugging it out at Consol Arena in Pittsburgh, the Isles and Pens had at it again Friday evening on Long Island, with the home team prevailing 9-3 for its second straight win of the week.
John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner all tallied their 20th goal of the season against the injury-depleted Penguins.
Coming into the game off of the 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh nine days ago, the Islanders responded with four goals in the first period and four more in the second.
When the teams were not playing actual hockey, they were training for an upcoming session of UFC bouts.
After a round of boxing in the second period to get things going, the two squads went all-out in the final 20 minutes of play.
Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson, who decked and injured Isles goalie Rick DiPietro in the last encounter, was once again involved on this night.
With multiple ejections, both benches had only a handful of available bodies on them for the final 12-plus minutes.
Travis Hamonic, Jesse Joensuu, and P.A. Parenteau, while goalie Mikko Koskinen earned his second straight NHL victory.
“It was a pretty entertaining affair, and we’ll take the two points,” Tavares told NHL.com afterward. ”I’ve never seen anything like that before. It just wouldn’t stop. But it just shows that we’ll do anything for each other.”
Meantime, with injuries giving the Penguins fits these days, it showed on the ice, as Pittsburgh hadn’t allowed nine goals since an 9-0 loss at Tampa Bay in November of 2003.
New York is back in action Sunday afternoon at Buffalo.
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Written by Dave Thomas