NHL Three Stars: Orpik, Malkin propel Penguins over Islanders

Harrison Mooney

"Thanks for being you, Nabby."

No. 1 Star: Brooks Orpik, Pittsburgh Penguins

He scored the series-winning goal in the 4-3 win, which is about all you need to do get a first star in my opinion. But if that's not enough, he also had an excellent game all-around, finishing a team-high plus-7 in even-strength Corsi (plus/minus for shots attempted) in a game where the Penguins were outshot 38-21.

No. 2 Star: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Malkin drew criticism for his defensive play at times, but he also had two assists, creating both the Penguins' game-tying and game-winning goals. On the winner, he forced the Islanders to collapse to the net before feeding Tyler Kennedy, who had all the time in the world to set up Orpik. And on Martin's, he made the pass himself. Plus he headed this puck to himself:

No. 3 Star: Michael Grabner, New York Islanders

Grabner had two points in the loss. He was flying in this one, creating Colin McDonald's goal late in the first, then scoring the go-ahead goal early in the second.

Honourable mention: John Tavares opened the scoring for the Islanders and won 16 of 24 faceoffs... Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves for the Penguins. Paul Martin's game-tying goal was pretty important, I'd say:

Did You Know? Brooks Orpik's last goal was 118 games ago, on November 21, 2011. It came versus the New York Islanders. [TH2N Stats Guy]

Conn Smythe Watch: 1. David Krejci, Boston Bruins; 2. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 3. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; 4. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; 5. Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks; 6. Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks 7. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators; 8. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings ; 10. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings.

Dishonourable mention: Can we leave this blank? It seems unfair to slag anybody on the Islanders after their effort tonight. Although Frans Nielsen probably feels like a goof for having his stick in the lane on the Martin goal. I include him here under protest.

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