So many times, the Penguins had faced this situation.
Approaching the New York Islanders blue line or being just inside of it, carrying the puck, looking to make something happen.
Evgeni Malkin was no different. The Penguins center had been thwarted earlier in Saturday's game more than once by New York's penchant for closing in, blocking off passing and shooting lanes, deflecting pucks out of harm's way.
This time was different. The Penguins were desperate, but Malkin showed a lot of patience to set up defenseman Paul Martin for the tying goal in the third period of a game they won, 4-3, in overtime to bounce the Islanders from the playoffs and advance to a second-round matchup against Ottawa.
"That's why he's one of the best in the league," Martin said of Malkin. "He's able to hold onto that puck and get guys coming after him.
"And, even better, he looks like he's got his head down, but he's able to find a way [to create something], find guys who are open."
The Penguins had been outplayed most of the game, but trailed just 3-2 as the third period was starting to cast shadows.
Malkin got the puck in the neutral zone and headed toward the right point. His teammates, though, were in a line change, and Malkin found himself looking at four Islanders.
Earlier in the game, in a couple of similar but less lopsided situations, Malkin barged ahead, had a shot deflected or tried to force a pass to a teammate.
This time, with the four Islanders giving him a little space, Malkin drove down the right side and behind the net. By the time he swung around to the other side, Martin was set up at the left point. Pass. Shot. Tie game.
Well, there was a little blip -- the puck clipped the stick of Islanders center Frans Nielsen and flew by goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.