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.  

Miller to Oregon transfer rumor originates on Reddit

Valencia FC ditches bat logo amidst DC Comics challenge

Paul Pierce: Celtics' Big Three was like 'Holy Trinity'

Cubs reportedly offer Jon Lester more than $135 million

Colin Kaepernick: Jim Harbaugh will be back in 2015

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark


Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Report: Browns not committed to Brian Hoyer long-term

Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox officially agree to contract

Ex-NFLer passed out in Wendy's drive-thru, arrested for DUI

Ex-NFL DB Fred Smoot arrested on domestic assault charges

Jets’ Sheldon Richardson: ‘I didn’t get drafted to lose games’

Aaron Rodgers blasts those who accused him of trolling Vikings

The century's 10 most one-sided college football rivalries

WATCH: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of NBA's first month

Sherman mocks NFL media policies in press conference

Why Packers' offense continues to evolve despite success

'Fire Idzik' billboard updated with suggestion for Jets owner

Watt buys pizza, shows gratitude to Houston firefighters, cops

College football's post-Week 13 Playoff projection

Which teams have the best shot at an undefeated season?

Infographic: Terrell Suggs' sack victims after notching 100th

Dude Perfect video features Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll

Rick Pitino 'played four white guys and an Egyptian' in blowout

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.

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

Century's most one-sided CFB rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

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.