Winning four in a row seemed impossible for the New York Islanders at the start of the season, but here we are after back-to-back wins over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The New York Islanders faced-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second time in three days. We knew this wasn’t going to be the same game as Tuesday. The Penguins weren’t going to make the same mistakes again.
By that I mean Matt Murray. The Penguins goalie wasn’t going to be as awful as he was just a few days ago. The two-time cup winner won’t be responsible for a 0.556SV% again against the Islanders.
As expected, Matt Murray was much better, but the Islanders still defied early season expectations by winning four straight and climbing to the top of the Metropolitan Division (they’re tied with Pittsburgh on 15 points).
(PS: what a showing by Thomas Greiss.)
It was a much tighter affair in game two of the home and home between the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was filled with little action, save for a Penguins power play goal from Dominik Simon.
Simon was the trailer on the Pens PP and not a single Islanders penalty killer saw him coming, and Simon made no mistake as Jake Guentzel’s shot deflect right to him.
Unlike on Tuesday, the shots were a more even 10-9 for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Islanders looked like the better team for stretches of the second period, but a number of bad penalties put them in a tough spot. Working on killing a penalty Casey Cizikas got to work to stop a Penguins opportunity, and the created his own the point-per-game winger Josh Bailey converted five-hole.
That was it for period number two. After forty minutes, the score was tied at one. Largely thanks to Thomas Greiss who was absolutely fantastic all night in net.
The Penguins dominated the start of the third period. For the first five minutes of the period the Penguins pinned the Isles in their own zone. But again, Greiss stood tall and kept them at bay.
And then at the halfway mark of the third period, Anders Lee broke the deadlock with his first goal at even strength, and fifth overall this season.
Unfortunately, that wouldn’t last as the Penguins would get some support from the referees. After a weak slashing call on Anders Lee, Evgeni Malkin would make it 2-2.
Gah! What an overtime period. Chances galore on both sides. If not for Thomas Greiss in net, the New York Islanders would have dropped a point.
1. Josh Bailey: 1G
Josh Bailey continues to show that he wasn’t simply a by-product of John Tavares. Bailey has been able to create and finish all on his own. His third goal of the 2018-19 season was a masterclass in opening up a goalies five hole. Oh and it was a short-handed goal none-the-less.
2. Anders Lee: 1G
This was the captain’s first even strength goal of the season and fifth overall. It just seems that no matter the opposition Anders Lee can and will score a goal.
3. Thomas Greiss: 30 saves, 0.935SV%
If you missed this overtime period tonight, go back and watch it. I’m still shaking from excitement. Thomas Greiss on two separate occasions made a save of the century. Do yourself a favor and watch how Thomas Greiss saved the Isles bacon.