Penguins win 15th in a row with 2-0 victory over Islanders
March 31, 2013 3:45 AM
The Penguins' Sidney Crosby drops to the ice after taking a slap shot to the face in the first period.
By Shelly Anderson Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Penguins won their 15th game in a row on a Tomas Vokoun shutout, 2-0, against the New York Islanders today at Consol Energy Center. Vokoun made 36 saves in what was the Penguins' third shutout in a row.
The win was tempered by the fact that Penguins captain Crosby, the leading scorer in the NHL with 56 points, left early in the game after he was hit in the face with a puck.
A press release from the team said Crosby has had oral surgery but there was no further information available.
The Penguins tied the second-longest win streak in NHL history, set by the Islanders in 1981-82. It was also the Penguins' 12th home win in a row, which set a club record, and left them 15-0 for the month of March.
There was no scoring in the first period, when the most notable event was Crosby's injury. He was in the left circle when he got hit with a puck near his mouth. Defenseman Brooks Orpik took the shot from the left point, and the puck glanced off of the Islanders' Brad Boyes before it felled Crosby.
Crosby was holding a towel to his face when he headed to the dressing room.
The game remained scoreless through the second period. The Penguins lost another players when Chris Kunitz received a checking-from-behind major penalty plus a game-misconduct for a hit on New York's Josh Bailey at 16:23 of the second period.
Matt Cooke broke through to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead with a close-range, turning shot at 8:10 of the third period.
James Neal pushed that to 2-0 at 13:04 of the third when he carried the puck down the ice and whipped a shot past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov from the right circle.
The Penguins conclude their season-long five-game homestand Tuesday with a game against Buffalo.