The Penguins had a chance to make some history Tuesday night.
Had an opportunity to make a significant statement to the New York Islanders, too.
Ultimately, though, they had to settle simply for leaving Nassau Coliseum with a couple of points after holding on for a 4-2 victory against the Islanders.
Which, those other possibilities aside, was a reasonably satisfying reward for their evening's work.
After all, it stretched their winning streak to four games and raised their record to 7-3, good for first place in the Atlantic Division. What's more, the Penguins snapped a run of three consecutive losses to the Islanders and have earned at least one victory against every Atlantic team they must face.
Still, with less than 17 minutes to go in regulation, they owned a 3-0 lead and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury looked to have a good shot at his 23rd career shutout, which would be a franchise record.
A deflection goal by Michael Grabner at 3:14 of the third period aborted any chance of that, however, and a rebound goal by Brad Boyes 35 seconds later injected some genuine suspense into the game.
Had the Penguins been able to hold on for a decisive win, it might have given the Islanders the idea that they shouldn't have the temerity to believe that they are quite ready to compete with -- let alone, defeat -- the Penguins on such a regular basis.
The way things played out, however, New York can justifiably wonder how the outcome might have been different if it had been able to capitalize on one of its seven power plays.
That idea never made it past the hypothetical stage, however, because the Penguins' penalty-killers, led by Fleury, did perhaps their finest work this season.
That was particularly true during the second period, when they had to snuff three New York power plays and all but five seconds of a fourth.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/penguins/its-road-sweet-road-as-penguins-win-4th-in-a-row-673543/#ixzz2K7VFEoqp
Penguins win fourth in a row, down Islanders on the road, 4-2
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Feb 6