PITTSBURGH, Penn – Hard to believe the night before, in the opening night of the 2013 NHL playoffs, there were three close, competitive matches. One night later Boston dumped Toronto 4-1 and the Penguins eased by the New York Islanders 5-0 in a game that was not that close.
The Penguins demonstrated why they were so dominant in the abbreviated regular season despite the absence of Sydney Crosby.
Marc-Andre Fleury was brilliant in net stopping 26.
Pascal Dupuis added his first of two on the night off a backhand in the 13th minute and from there the only questions remaining were the final total of Pittsburgh goals and the potential for Fleury to pitch a shutout.
In a masterful under-statement, Brenden Morrow told NHL.com “We had to work, we had to move our feet.”
“We were great on the forecheck and our special teams came through,” Morrow added.
The Penguins picked up additional goals from Kris Letang and Tanner Glass.
With the secondary players scoring in game one there should be some level of concern in the Isles’ locker room. The Penguins depth was glaringly apparent this evening.
Game two will see the teams return to Pittsburgh ice where New York will need to find a way to gear up the defense and find a way to get one past Fleury. Otherwise, like the Boston-Toronto series, this could be over quick.
Note: Evgeni Nabakov took a puck to the helmet early i the match and stayed in the game before yielding the crease to Kevin Poulin. The Islanders goalies surrendered the five goals on 26 shots.
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