Penguins 4, Islanders 0

John Perrotto, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Coach Dan Bylsma felt changes were in order for his heavily favored Pittsburgh Penguins to regain momentum in a series that seemed to be slipping away.
So Bylsma switched goaltenders and shook up other parts of the lineup, and the Penguins responded by blanking the New York Islanders 4-0 Thursday night in Game 5 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series at Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins, the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Tomas Vokoun registered a shutout in his first playoff appearance since 2007, and fourth-line center Tyler Kennedy scored the game's first goal after being a healthy scratch each of the first four games of the series.
Pittsburgh can close out the series Saturday in Game 6 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. The Islanders, the No. 8 seed in the East, haven't won a playoff series since 1993, when they upset Pittsburgh in the second round.
Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang both had one goal and one assist for the Penguins, while Douglas Murray also scored.
New York goalie Evgeni Nabokov was chased from the game in the third period.
Vokoun made 31 saves as the replacement for struggling Marc-Andre Fleury, who shut out the Islanders in Game 1 but gave up 14 goals in the next three games.
It marked the first time someone other than Fleury was in net for the Penguins in a playoff game since 2001. When the Islanders beat the Penguins 6-4 in Game 4 on Tuesday, it was the most goals Pittsburgh had given up in a playoff game since 2002.
Vokoun was 14-3 with a 2.45 goals-against average in the regular season, including going 3-0 against the Islanders as he stopped 98 of 101 shots on goal. However, he entered Thursday's game with a 3-8 career playoff record, compiled with the Nashville Predators in 2004 and 2007.
New York tested Vokoun early as it outshot Pittsburgh 14-7 in a scoreless first period, but then the Penguins erupted for three goals in the second period.
Kennedy scored at 7:25, beating Nabokov on a breakaway after taking a long clearing pass from Letang.
Just 1:22 later, Murray made it 2-0 when he rifled a shot off Nabokov's left arm from between the left circle and blue line. It was the big defenseman's second goal of the series and third overall in the last 11 games, including the regular season, after he went 146 consecutive games without a score.
Pittsburgh extended the lead to 3-0 with six minutes left in the period when Crosby scored his third goal of the playoffs. He skated right through defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky and Thomas Hickey at the blue line and scored from point-blank range.
Letang scored a power-play goal 5:43 into the third period on a slap shot, just six seconds after Matt Martin was sent off for roughing.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano then pulled Nabokov, who stopped 23 of 27 shots, for the second time in the series in favor of Kevin Poulin. Nabokov was also yanked in Game 1, which was won 5-0 by Pittsburgh.
Poulin saved all four shots he faced.
NOTES: Pittsburgh centers Joe Vitale and Kennedy were active after being healthy scratches in the first four games of the series. They were paired on the fourth line with Craig Adams. Defenseman Simon Depres was active for just the second time in five games. Meanwhile, left wingers Tanner Glass and Jussi Jokinen were scratched after playing in each of the first four games. ... Brian Strait was paired with Travis Hamonic on the Islanders' blue line, taking the place of Andrew MacDonald, who suffered a season-ending broken hand in Game 4 on Tuesday. ... Hickey was active for the Islanders after being a healthy scratch in the previous three games.

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