Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun makes a save on Islanders defenceman Brian Strait during Game 5 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, May 9, 2013. (JASON COHN/Reuters)
PITTSBURGH - It wasn’t greeted as big news back in early June when the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired goaltender Tomas Vokoun from the Washington Capitals for a seventh-round draft pick.
It’s looking like a little bigger news now.
Vokoun stopped 31 shots for the shutout Thursday as he took over the blue paint from squirrely Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins played a much better team game in a 4-0 win over the New York Islanders. Pittsburgh now owns a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-seven NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
The Penguins can win their first playoff series in two years and just their second since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 in Game 6 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.
Tyler Kennedy opened the scoring on a breakway in the second period and Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov misplayed a harmless wrister by Pens defenceman Douglas Murray that resulted in a goal a minute and 22 seconds later.
That set the stage for Penguins captain Sidney Crosby to score about as a good a goal as you will see in these playoffs.