The New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins played a back, and fourth battled at Nassau Coliseum. These two teams are very different, yet they’re pretty similar as to how good they are. Tonight, the Penguins won in the shootout 4-3. It was 18 seconds away from an Islanders win, but Pittsburgh scored. It was an extremely even game throughout, and either team could’ve made a case for winning. Both Goalies played strong, but both teams played well offensively. The Offensive style of this game hurt the Islanders, as they prefer to play more defensively. Though they lost tonight, the Islanders were able to extend their points streak to 5 games. It seems as though the Islanders have bounced back from the atrocious road trip they had around a week ago.
The Islanders power play was able to strike with their only chance.
Seemingly a 2-1 lead taking goal in the first period of a 4-3 shootout loss shouldn’t matter too much. One of the Islanders’ worst aspects of their game under Barry Trotz has been the power play. , the power play sometimes can’t even contain puck possession. Tonight the Islanders took advantage of the only chance they got. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored on a tip from a Nick Leddy shot. This was a big goal for the power play, but it was also crucial for Pageau’s confidence. He hasn’t scored much lately, and getting that goal tonight gave him some more confidence. He played very well tonight, but he needs to keep scoring goals. He’s one of the Islander’s most dangerous weapons, and he needs to be able to produce. The Islanders still need to work on their power play, but it seems that they’ve shown some improvement.
The fourth line stays on fire.
The Islanders have the best fourth line in all of hockey. Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin, and Cal Clutterbuck have played outstanding the past few games and kept it up tonight. Casey Cizikas scored an immaculate 1-0 goal as he was falling down and somehow put it in. It may as well be one of the best goals n the NHL this season. Besides the plan, the fourth line played terrific, as they generated a ton of chances throughout the game. Clutterbuck had an injury scare in the second period, but he could play in the third. If those three keep flying on the ice as they have recently, the rest of the East division should watch out.
Chaos ensues in the third period and overtime.
The entire game was a hard-fought battle on both sides: the third period, overtime, and the shootout made for an exciting end of the game. The third period was tied 2-2 until Mathew Barzal makes a spectacular play on a one on 1 with Pierre-Oliver Joseph and gets it past Casey DeSmith to make it 3-2. It stayed 3-2 for around 7 minutes when Evgeni Malkin beats Semyon Varlamov with 18 seconds left in regulation. They had the extra attacker on with the empty net and were able to keep the game alive. Pittsburgh had the momentum now, going into overtime. But it seemed as though the Islanders had more chance in the 5-minute three on three periods to win it. They got close, but that doesn’t matter because they didn’t score.
Penguins finish it off in the shootout.
The Islanders sent Jordan Eberle up first in the shootout. He wasn’t able to make a good movie, and DeSmith saved it pretty quickly. Following Eberle, the Penguins sent up Jake Geuntzel. Guentzel tried to do something pretty, but Varlamov was able to stop it. Up second for the Islanders was Mathew Barzal. He tried to go backhand but didn’t lift the puck high enough to beat DeSmith. Then, Sidney Crosby dangled out Varlamov and scored. Leaving Josh Bailey to be the final hope for the Islanders. Unlike in game 1 in 2019, Bailey could not beat the Penguins goaltender, and Pittsburgh won. The Islanders get the point, and the Penguins get two.
The Islanders’ next game is Saturday night against the Boston Bruins at Nassau Coliseum.