A New York Islanders three goal third period sunk the Penguins in a 4-1 loss to the Isles as New York completed a sweep in the home and home series.
This was a huge home and home series for the Islanders as they look to show this is a different Islanders team and they Aced their test.
“This is a new hockey club with a new attitude,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “It’s playoff hockey even though you’re early in the season. A team like [Pittsburgh] brings the best out of you.”
The Islanders with the win improved to 14-6-0, 28 pts, tied with the Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
In Saturday night’s loss the Penguins struggled mightily to clear the front of the net and overall in the back to back games, one concern for the Penguins was the Islanders ability to control the play for long stretches.
“It was a tie game going into the third [period], so we can’t say we didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said of Saturday’s loss. “That being said, we didn’t give a very big push in the third period to give ourselves a chance to win. They raised their level and we didn’t……..We just couldn’t get control of the puck. They carried the play in the offensive zone, and by the time we ended up having to make plays, we didn’t have enough energy.”
Another story line for the Penguins was Steve Downie’s antics in the third period with the Penguins trailing 2-1 by putting the Islanders on the power play with a bone head penalty.
Matt Martin’s quote to Newsday’s Arthur Staple said it all. “If they want to take a bad penalty in a 2-1 game and give us a two-goal lead, we’ll take that every time,” Martin said.