In Game 3 of this series, the Islanders rode the energy of their home crowd to blitz the Penguins and open a 2-0 lead in the first six minutes. This time around, there was no blitz, despite the Isles receiving two power plays in the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Penguins killed both of those, as they have all but one of the Islanders power plays so far this series.
And also like Game 3, the Penguins erased the Islanders' lead by the end of the first period. They tied it just 45 seconds after Strait's goal, completing a nice passing play and taking advantage of Evgeni Nabokov's playing high out of his crease. With Nabokov coming out to challenge Evgeni Malkin, Malkin faked the shot and fed James Neal, who scored into an open net from a sharp angle:
Neal is playing his second game of the series, returning from a lower body injury he suffered in Game 1.
Meanwhile, though Sidney Crosby has scored more career points against the Islanders than any other team, Nassau Coliseum continues to be an unfriendly building for him. In 2012 he took a puck to the face that drew blood (and boos from some Coliseum fans). Earlier this season, he took a deflected Brooks Orpik shot to the face that drew blood, cost him teeth and broke his jaw.
Tonight he took yet another deflected shot up high, apparently avoiding his jaw this time but causing much visible pain:
Of course that high Strait shot did not prevent him from taking his next shift though. You know, because hockey.