Quite frankly, the New York Islanders didn’t wake up against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was 5-0 in the middle of the second period. Lackluster performance all around the board. The 3 Islander goals were scored when their fate was sealed. Ilya Sorokin started and gave up 4 goals, didn’t get much defensive help whatsoever. He only faced 9 shots, just didn’t have a good performance. Unfortunately, this loss ends his 8 game winning streak.
Penguins scored early and often
The Penguins undoubtedly got their way in every form tonight. They got goals from many different avenues, though they were without Evgeni Malkin. Bryan Rust scored a hat trick consisting of an even-strength goal, a power-play goal, and an empty netter. Frederick Gaudreau scored his 4th career goal and his first as a Penguin to start off the scoring. The goal was scored 5 minutes and 48 seconds into the game, and everything went the Penguins’ way following. Evan Rodrigues scored around 4 minutes after that to give Pittsburgh the 2-0 lead. In the second, Sidney Crosby scored a power-play goal. Maybe could’ve been goalie interference, but the refs didn’t even review it. After that, it was Brian Rust who did the rest of Pittsburgh’s scoring.
What happened to the Islanders’ defense?
For a team that is known for having a good defense, tonight evidently wasn’t their night. The defense simply gave their goaltenders no help. The 5 goals that weren’t empty netters were all due to missed assignments and silly mistakes. Not to mention the fact that they took several undisciplined penalties. It was clear that the players who are usually defensive studs, weren’t themselves tonight. After the 4th goal, Sorokin was pulled, next thing they did was leaving Semyon Varlamov out there to dry 2 minutes later. Barry Trotz needs to get this defense awake for the next time they see Pittsburgh on Monday. Tonight, the defense was just awful.
The Islanders scored 3 goals to make the final look prettier
By the time the Islanders decided to score, the game was essentially over. After it was 5-0, there was back for New York. Mathew Barzal scored his first goal in a while and his tenth of the season to make it 5-1. It was a pretty nice goal, maybe it can get Barzal in a scoring groove. Anthony Beauvillier made it 5-2, it was scored off a Barzal rebound to the toy department. Jordan Eberle brought the Islanders within 2 on a 4 on 4 with an extra Islander attacker. They didn’t score anymore and the Islanders lost.
It goes without question that the Islanders need to come out firing on Monday against the Penguins. That game could be looked at as an opportunity for redemption. Barry Trotz needs to get his team to come out firing, they were simply awful tonight. For a team that has had a very good season tonight wasn’t a good night for them. Clunkers happen, the Islanders just need to limit the number of games where they happen.