Originally written on The Pensblog  |  Last updated 11/8/14

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 06: Paul Martin of the Pittsburgh Penguins awaits a face off during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on November 6, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Penguins defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
If All-State named its insurance plans, everyone would be ordering the Paul Martin Plan. Martin got off to a rough start this series, but his performance in the third period and overtime of Game 3 may have saved the game and, in fact, the series. Kris Letang has been putrid (by Letang standards) in this series. With Orpik out, it looks like Letang is trying to do way too much. You don't have to go down on every Penguins player all the time. You can admit that Kris Letang hasn't played his best in this series. Matt Niskanen was good (and has been good all season). That scrap with Okposo seems to have spanked him up a little bit. Deryk Engelland has been Deryk Engelland. Simon Despres looks like a guy in a highly visible and crucial role experiencing his first playoff series. The armor that Mark Eaton has been wearing all season got dented in Game 3. Douglas Murray has been on his own island. We'll be discussing Murray in a separate post. But this post belongs to Paul Martin. Here are four potentially game-saving plays Martin made in Game 3:   Play 1. 15:14 left in the third. Thiz Penguins' power play was one of the worst things to happen in a while. What in the world was Kris Letang doing here: Go high blocker or something, bro. Don't stickhandle into the heart of the Isles' penalty killers. It was up to Martin now. He immediately realizes it's Grabner racing to puck and plays it safe. He drops back to defend the 2-on-1 and ends up blocking the shot/pass. People will say, "Oh, Letang's speed helps him recover. See, look. He gets back to lift the stick of Cizikas." Too bad he got a piece of Cizikas' hand and it should've been a hooking call. Just a bizarre move by Letang that started this whole thing. Perfect play on the puck by Martin. Play 2. 11:39 left in the third. This was a monster play at the time. An Isles' goal here would've given them much more time to capitalize on the momentum they had had since the Okposo goal. The seas parted after Murray and Dupes kind of ran into each other. Martin has to make another big decision in a 2-on-1 situation. He sells out and takes away the pass. Play 3. 12:09 left in overtime. Right before the Crosby goal, Martin was man-on-man vs. Okposo, who probably has been the best Islander player so far in the series. Martin didn't let Okposo do anything. It may seem like a whatever play, but, again, Martin defended it to a T. This stick-on-puck allowed the Pens gain possession, and Crosby drew the penalty not long after this. Play 4. 11:20 left in overtime. Crosby's pass was sweet, Kunitz's finish was better. But Paul Martin put the turkey on the table, as they say. His fake-shot-and-pass decision took about a second of human-brain processing time, but it set off a world of events. Both of the Islanders forwards go all-in on the shot block, and the passing lane to Crosby is left wide-open. 47, MacDonald, rightfully panics and takes away the passing lane through the crease. Kunitz nonchalantly goes to the area where MacDonald was standing not even two seconds ago and rifles home the game-winner. While Kris Letang battles through some struggles, the defense is going to be Paul Martin's to lead. The Paul Martin we saw in the third period and in OT of Game 3 is the Paul Martin we've seen all season. Expect a big-time performance from Martin in Game 4. Just watch him.  

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game


Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.