The New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins faced off in Game 4 of the postseason on May 22 at Nassau Coliseum. After a devastating loss in Game 3, the Islanders retaliated with a 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh.
The Islanders were looking to come out strong tonight against the Penguins. For the first seven minutes of the period, New York completely controlled the game. The Penguins were pressured into creating numerous turnovers. The Islanders were then set up for amazing opportunities. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Anthony Beauvillier were both set up with wide-open nets but failed to capitalize.
Evgeni Malkin then took a high stick penalty halfway through the period. The Islanders got their first power-play of the game. However, they failed to organize themselves and were left empty-handed.
The Penguins took control after an amazing penalty kill. Tristan Jarry went seven minutes without having to face a shot. The Islanders would not regain traction until the remaining three minutes of the period. Ultimately both teams would exit this period scoreless.
Regardless of the minor setback in the first, the New York Islanders got back to their game in the second. The start of the period exhibited fantastic opportunities with no results. For instance, Mathew Barzal repeatedly dismissed possible shots. His presence has been practically nonexistent this postseason.
Nonetheless, veteran Josh Bailey opened up the scoring with a beautiful goal assisted by Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. The goal woke up New York and their production didn’t stop. Minutes later, defenseman Ryan Pulock scored another for the Islanders. Though the play wasn’t the most organized, it emphasized the importance of putting the pucks on the net.
The Penguins retaliated with effort, but Sorokin shut them down. With two minutes left in the period, Malkin was sent to the box for tripping. The Islanders did not score on the power play. Nevertheless, the third period would turn towards the favor of New York.
The Penguins were granted their first man advantage at the beginning of the period. Scott Mayfield was sent to the box for holding Sidney Crosby. However, within seconds play became 4-on-4 due to a tripping call on Jason Zucker. The Penguins spent plenty of time in their offensive zone, but an interference call on Kris Letang turned the tide in New York’s favor.
The Penguins power play quickly turned into an Islanders one. The rookie Oliver Wahlstrom, threw the puck towards the net. An unfortunate deflection off the stick of Teddy Blueger put the Islanders up 3-0. 28 seconds after, Jordan Eberle sent a beautiful shot to Tristan Jarry’s glove side. The Islanders led the Penguins 4-0.
Pittsburgh should not be discredited. The effort of the Penguins did not cease. With two minutes left, Zach Aston-Reese finally pushed the puck past Sorokin. However, the Penguins did not have enough time to come back from the deficit.
The Islanders Win
The Islanders would not have won this game if not for the outstanding performance of Ilya Sorokin. The rookie goaltender had 29 saves tonight. Sorokin has now been on the ice for both of the Islanders postseason wins. He will likely start Game 5.
The Islanders will face the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Monday, May 24. With the Islanders win, this ties the series at 2-2. The winner of Monday’s game will have the chance to win the series in Game 6.