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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pens' Orpik picks his spot

First goal in 106 games sends Pittsburgh into East semis

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Brooks Orpik scored 7:49 into overtime, and the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame three one-goal deficits in Game 6 to eliminate the New York Islanders with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.

Orpik, a defenceman, took a shot from the left point that found its way through traffic and got past goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

Orpik had never scored in 77 previous playoff games and didn't have one in the past 106 contests of any kind since he last scored against the Islanders on Nov. 21, 2011.

He now has 12 career goals in the NHL. Evgeni Malkin moved the puck from behind the net to Tyler Kennedy, who fed it to Orpik for the winning shot.

"I'm definitely not a goal-scorer, but he laid it right on a tee for me," Orpik said. "I wish I can say I was trying to go there, but I was just trying to put it on net, and found a hole."

The Penguins advanced to face the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the playoffs despite being outshot 38-21 in the decisive win.

The Islanders were just 5:16 away from sending the series back to Pittsburgh for one more game when another defenceman, Paul Martin, got the Penguins even for the third time.

"It's great to finish it, I tell you that," goalie Tomas Vokoun said. "We got everything we could have handled. They played great and it was a tough series."

Evgeni Malkin assisted on the tying and winning goals. On Martin's goal, Malkin curled behind the New York net with the puck and sent a hard pass high in the zone to Martin, who ripped a drive through traffic in front.

Michael Grabner had given the Islanders a 3-2 edge 2:21 into the third.

He scored his second career NHL post-season goal off a feed from Keith Aucoin to give the Islanders their third lead -- on their 30th shot -- against the top-seeded Penguins. The goal left Vokoun sprawled on his stomach.

The teams had alternated wins since the Penguins took the opener 5-0 at home. Pittsburgh got into position to advance to the second round for the first time since 2010 when it won 4-0 in Game 5 with Vokoun in goal instead of Marc-Andre Fleury.

"To be thrown into the middle of a series and play the way he did, that's huge," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Especially tonight. They carried the play and had a lot of great chances. He was sturdy and solid for us."

Vokoun had trouble early matching the success he had all season against the Islanders, but still pulled out the win. The Penguins had lost all three previous post-season meetings with the Islanders -- including two defeats in Game 7.

Counting the regular season and his shutout win Thursday in Game 5, Vokoun entered with a 4-0 mark, an 0.69 goals-against average, and .977 save percentage this year in five games against the Islanders.

John Tavares, Colin McDonald and Grabner gave New York leads in each period. Aucoin had two assists, and Nabokov made 17 saves.

Jarome Iginla tied it in the first, and Pascal Dupuis made it 2-2 in the second for Pittsburgh, which got 35 saves from Vokoun.

Despite being outplayed for much of the game -- outshot 28-13 through two periods -- the Penguins entered the third in a 2-2 tie.

Pittsburgh overcame a pair of New York power plays in the second -- including one for too many men on the ice that had coach Dan Bylsma irate on the bench -- and got even again when Dupuis scored his fifth of the series with 9:01 remaining.

The Islanders showed no signs of nervousness or that the moment was too big for them, despite the lack of playoff experience throughout the roster.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 12, 2013 B3

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