It was an uphill battle for the Islanders all night against the Penguins in a tough 3-2 defeat at The Coliseum tonight.
They fell behind by two quickly on goals by Sidney Crosby and Ryan Whitney less than four minutes apart in the opening stanza. However, Ted Nolan's hard working club fought back in the second to tie things up on a power play goal from Richard Park and pleasant surprise FA addition Josef Vasicek's 10th only 45 seconds later.
But an extra roughing penalty to Islander defenseman Brendan Witt during a scrum led to rookie Tyler Kennedy's deciding marker. Jordan Staal's stuff attempt out of the corner was stopped by Rick DiPietro but caromed out right to Kennedy who didn't miss netting his sixth at 14:16.
Despite a foolish major penalty by Chris Simon for trying to injure Pens' antagonist Jarkko Ruutu, the Isles still were able to generate plenty of shorthanded chances to tie the game late.
But Dany Sabourin made some strong saves to thwart the Isles' 11 shots en route to the victory finishing with 27 altogether.
DiPietro faced 40 shots and got 37 to give his team an opportunity late. Too bad Simon's latest bush league move probably cost the Islanders a couple of points.
During a stoppage with less than six minutes remaining, the same player who lost his mind last season with that stick swinging incident with Ryan Hollweg apparently tried to step on Ruutu while he was down.
"It was a bad time for a penalty," Islander coach Ted Nolan explained to the AP. "To tell you the truth, I didn't have the time to look at it and see the severity of it. We'll look at it and probably make a comment on it (Sunday)."
Simon will probably be disciplined for this latest incident.
Nolan wasn't pleased with the one extra minor on Witt which led to Kennedy's PP tally as was the defenseman.
"I still can't understand how two guys have a little pushing match, and then two guys jump one of our guys and we end up in a short-handed situation," Nolan noted.
"Crosby and I are shoving," Witt described. "For him to come out of there with nothing, that doesn't surprise me. It's one of those things. He's going to get a lot of calls that way."
I don't think anyone would debate that. I've seen Sid the Kid get more of his fair share. The 'star treatment.'
This was one the Isles could've gotten. Now they'll have to regroup this Wednesday for a resurgent Buffalo team and try to avenge a 5-3 loss at HSBC last week.