With an extra attacker and the Penguins trailing 3-2, Justin Schultz has forced overtime in beating Robin Lehner with a one-timer goal from the left point. Schultz goal came with 1:29 left in regulation to tie the game at 3-3 and this one almost didn’t make it to OT as a Penguins breakdown saw Josh Bailey get behind the Penguins D and Bailey hit the post with 4 seconds remaining off a redirection. Penguins leads in shots 41-30 through sixty minutes.
The New York Islanders took a 3-2 lead with 7:25 left in the third period with a goal from Nick Leddy off a point shot. The trickle down effect of the go-ahead goal was a poor shift from defenseman Olli Maatta. Prior to the goal, Maatta iced the puck while untouched with all three forwards and Kris Letang late on a shift and trying to change. The ensuing faceoff saw the four being able to change except Maatta who would turn the puck over in the left corner and Isles strike.
Through 40 minutes, Penguins – Islanders is tied at 2-2. Evgeni Malkin scored a power play at 13:41 and the tables turned in period two where Pittsburgh had long stretches of tilting the ice. Pittsburgh outshot New York 10-5 during 5-on-5 play and had 7 high danger chances after being limited to 3 in period one. Robin Lehner made 3-4 highlight reel saves in period as the Penguins were much more effective in creating offense below the dots that led to a much stronger possession game behind the net than period one. Lehner had a great stop on Phil Kessel off a feed from Dominik Simon and later in the period on Evgeni Malkin where Jared McCann made a great individual play off the rush.
The next 40 minutes will show if the first 20 minutes in Game 1 of Penguins – Islanders was an adrenaline rush type of period from the New York Islanders where they were the faster, more physical team or whether it was a sign of things to come? Where New York impressed was their patience with the puck in playing with speed but also waiting for plays to develop. In leading 2-1 after 20 minutes, the Islanders created 8 high danger chances and had Pittsburgh doing a lot of running around in period one. On the heels of a Tom Kuhnhackl goal being overturned 33 seconds in, the Islanders with a ferocious forecheck kept coming and Pittsburgh got caught in no mans land defensively as Jordan Eberle left all alone in front struck 1:40 into the game to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead on a goal that stood thisRead More »
Penguins – Islanders Game 1 Buzz Deja vu for Jack Johnson The politics of having management influence lineup decisions like what played out to an extent this season for the Penguins is over as it’s now the postseason. Game 1 of Penguins – Islanders will give a look of how Mike Sullivan and Co actually view their best group of six defensemen. And Jack Johnson isn’t one of them, just as he wasn’t last spring in Columbus when the 2018 postseason got underway. How did the Penguins get to this decision? Sullivan has leaned heavily on top assistant Jacques Martin on which direction to go and as mentioned here yesterday, Martin has strongly pushed in meetings to keep the third pairing of Marcus Pettersson – Erik Gudbranson together, leaving Jack Johnson as the odd-man out. A big point of emphasis among the staff in determining which d-man would sit wasRead More »
Game 1 of Penguins – Islanders Wednesday night will be decision time for the Penguins’ coaching staff. With Brian DuMoulin officially a game time decision and expected to be cleared to play, it would mark the first time since the trade deadline the coaches will have a decision to make on the backend. The expectation has always been that Marcus Pettersson would be the odd-man out but sources say assistant coach Jacques Martin has strongly pushed to keep the third pairing of Pettersson and Erik Gudbranson together as Gudbranson’s steady level of play has been a major surprise to this point, meaning Jack Johnson is under serious consideration to sit. Pettersson-Gudbranson remained together today for the second straight practice. Pittsburgh’s pairings in Tuesday’s final tune-up before Game were Maatta-Letang, Johnson-Schultz, Pettersson-Gudbranson, DuMoulin-Trotman.
Penguins, Islanders will drop the puck at 7:30 p.m. for Game 1 on Wednesday, April 10. The series sets up as every other day and has no two-day breaks. The series shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Sunday, April 14 with a 12:00 p.m. puck drop. Games 1, 2, and 4 will be televised on AT&T Sportsnet. Game 3 will be televised on NBC. Game 1 7:30 pm @ NYI | Wednesday, April 10 Game 2 7:30 p.m. @ NYI | Friday, April 12 Game 3 12:00 p.m. @ PIT | Sunday, April 14 Game 4 7:30 p.m. @ PIT | Tuesday, April 16 Game 5 TBD @ NYI | Thursday, April 18 Game 6 TBD @ PIT | Saturday, April 20 Game 7 TBD @ NYI | Monday, April 22
Round 1 Set Between Penguins – Islanders The Penguins performance in Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers was a fitting end to the regular season for Pittsburgh in how they just find ways to make things more difficult than they should be. A third period collapse versus the lowly Rangers had Pittsburgh minutes away from a Round 1 meeting with the Washington Capitals until Jake Guentzel saved the day with 2:36 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 3-3. Guentzel tying the game late is how it should have been with Guentzel scoring his 40th goal of the season and Sidney Crosby picking up his 100th point of the season with the assist. Thanks to Guentzel’s late heroics, Pittsburgh accomplished their goal of getting a Round 1 matchup with the New York Islanders. What will be fascinating with this series is whether the Penguins up andRead More »
Latest Pens Buzz The Pittsburgh Penguins enter Game #82 and the final day of the regular season in a situation where they can still finish 2nd/3rd or the top wildcard spot. The Islanders go into the night controlling their destiny where they need to earn just one point to clinch home-ice in Round 1. SCENARIOS 1. New York Islanders clinch 2nd place in Metro If they earn at least one point or Pittsburgh loses 2. Pittsburgh Penguins will clinch 2nd place in Metro if they win and Islanders lose in regulation Worst Case Scenario for the Penguins tonight: The Penguins would finish in the top wild card spot and be awarded with a round 1 matchup vs the Capitals if the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh loses in regulation. Penguins in position for a favorable Round 1 matchup Far from a shock, Penguins head coach Mike SullivanRead More »