The New York Islanders have opened a 3-0 game lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here were the heroes of game three.
In the first period of game three, the Pittsburgh Penguins took their first lead of the series on their first goal from a forward since game one. Hot-handed Jordan Eberle was quick to respond for the New York Islanders, scoring his third goal in the series less than a minute later. Ebs is the heavily touted hero favorite.
Shortly thereafter, Brock Nelson scored on a breakaway to give the Isle the lead following a key Tom Kuhnhackl pinch. Nelson has been solid, netting some serious hero points while Kuhnhackl has been playing some intense redemption hockey against his former team.
It should come as no surprise that Val Filpulla’s return to the lineup on the last game of the season has played a big part in this series. Trotz hasn’t had to juggle his lines for one, but Filpulla’s leadership and poise have been key.
The third line responded in game three with a goal from Leo Komarov, his first since January. While quiet on the offensive end, Komarov has been anything but dead weight. He gets notable credit and hero points for his guts and determination, particularly in his role on the next hero recipient, the penalty kill.
The New York Islanders PK
During the second and third periods of Sunday’s contest, the Isles were tossed in the whirlwind of man up man down, as they would go on the power play only to go right back on the penalty kill. It seemed that Pittsburgh was going take the momentum back and make the game a contest again,
But the penalty kill held strong garnering group hero points. Of course, the penalty kill looks all the better when Robin Lehner plays out of his mind, which he has. Lehner has given up five goals total to a high powered Pittsburgh team. Lehner may prove to be the ultimate hero in this series.
Lastly, every New York Islanders fan worth their salt was happy for Anders Lee, the captain, who scored on the empty netter to ice the Penguins late in the third. Lee had missed the last Islanders playoff push with a broken leg and it was good to see him get on the board. The Captain, our Captain, deserves some hero points too.
Islanders and Penguins Possible Lineups
New York Islanders
After getting a maintenance day yesterday, Scott Mayfield will be in the lineup for game four. Again, Barry Trotz has no reason to shake things up. His lineup is performing as it should with team defense and with production across all four lines. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Mike Sullivan doesn’t have the luxuries of a Barry Trotz. His star-studded lineup is struggling. Crosby has been invisible and Malkin a liability. If the Penguins have any hope to keep their season going he’ll have to get both of them going.
(Possible lineup courtesy of Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Where to Tune In to See the Game
TV: MSG+, MSG Go, NBCSN, CBC (Canada), TVA2(Canada), NHL.TV
Radio: 88.7FM ,103.9FM