Penguins bow again to Arbour
Hall of Famer Al Arbour was invited back to coach the Islanders last night to give him an even 1,500 games in his career.
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- These Penguins are not old enough -- most of them, anyway -- to appreciate the terrible things that have happened to their team over the years with Al Arbour standing behind the New York Islanders bench.
How he led New York back from a 3-0 deficit against the Penguins in the second round of the 1975 playoffs. The way he helped the Islanders dodge a monumental upset by the Penguins in 1982, when New York was chasing the third of its four consecutive Stanley Cups. How Arbour's Islanders aborted the Penguins' bid for their third Cup in a row in 1993.
Each time, the series went to its limit -- and into overtime in the latter two, actually -- and the final game was decided by one goal. Always in the Islanders' favor.
After all those disappointments, for the Penguins (6-6-1) to have a two-goal lead slip away in what became a 3-2 loss to the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on the night Arbour made a 60-minute comeback probably was predictable.
"Maybe it was the hockey gods," Penguins forward Ryan Malone said.
Whether some unseen hand directed a Marc-Andre Bergeron rebound directly onto the stick of Miroslav Satan, who threw it past Marc-Andre Fleury for the game-winner at 17:19 of the third period, is conjecture, but having Arbour work his 1,500th game behind New York's bench obviously made a difference.
If nothing else, it gave the Islanders an emotional boost that helped to explain their 39-25 edge in shots, although a 6-2 advantage in power plays played a part in that, too.
"It seems that the other teams are very disciplined against us," Therrien said, sarcasm lacing every syllable.
Regardless, it was the second game in three nights the Penguins built a 2-0 lead on the road, then allowed three unanswered goals.
"You fight hard to get that lead and try to keep it," center Sidney Crosby said.
Malone gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 12:06 of the opening period, backhanding an Evgeni Malkin rebound past New York goalie Rick DiPietro from the left side of the slot for his third of the season.
In the process, Malone stretched the Penguins' streak of games with a man-advantage goal to 13, a franchise record for the start of the season and one shy of the team record for any point in the season.
Although they can tie the latter mark when they visit New Jersey at 7:08 p.m. tomorrow, it will be a while before they get near the league record. That is 21 games, set by Edmonton in 1982-83 and matched by the New York Rangers in 1989-90.
The second assist on Malone's goal went to Crosby, extending his scoring streak to a career-best 12 games.
Rookie Tyler Kennedy pushed their advantage to 2-0 with his first goal in the NHL, although he didn't get credit for it until several minutes after his shot from inside the left circle entered the net.
Kennedy's turning shot from inside the left circle eluded DiPietro at 1:48 of the second, but the initial on-ice ruling was that the puck had struck the crossbar.
The sequence was not reviewed until a stoppage of play at 3:39, when televised replays made it clear the puck had ricocheted off the part of the goal frame that supports the net. The 111 seconds that passed between the time Kennedy scored and when play stopped was put back on the clock.
The Penguins were in control at that point, but Trent Hunter kick-started New York's comeback at 8:20, corralling the carom of a Crosby pass that bounced off the side of the net and beating Fleury, who was making his first start in a week, from the inner edge of the left circle.
Later, Crosby picked up a double-minor for clipping DiPietro with a high stick at 13:56 while New York defenseman Radek Martinek was trying to ride him out of the play at the side the New York net and lifted his stick.
The Penguins survived being shorthanded for four minutes, but couldn't prevent Satan from tying the game at 5:30 of the third, then getting the winner as regulation was winding down.
First Published November 4, 2007 12:00 am