New York Islanders Sweep Pittsburgh Penguins With 3-1 Game Four: 3 Takeaways
The New York Islanders were up 2-1 with minutes to go in the game. The Penguins, fighting for their life would undoubtedly push for the equalizer and take their chances in overtime.
Matt Murray was pulled with only a few minutes left. It was 6on5 in the Islanders zone with a faceoff to the right of Robin Lehner.
Valtteri Filppula steps up and wins the draw. The puck works its way to Josh Bailey who sinks the empty net goal and ends the Pittsburgh Penguins season.
Again, the New York Islanders didn’t panic. The pressure was on and the spot light was at its brightest. But they held on to the win by the thinnest of margins. The Penguins tested them, but the Islanders held firm.
Aside from a holding call on Sidney Crosby five minutes into the period, the Isles stayed disciplined and didn’t get conned into any stupid penalties.
That’s what you call game management. The Islanders didn’t get fancy and try to bury the Penguins 5-1. They stuck to the task and the plan that had brought them success and saw out the game.
Think back to that regular season game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in November. The game was tied at two with just over a minutes to play. And the puck in the Islanders end.
With a defensive zone faceoff for the Isles, three Islanders forwards race out of the zone to catch the Lightning in an odd-man rush. But the puck never made it to them, in fact, Tyler Johnson would score to make it 3-2.
The Islanders would lose that game 4-2. Instead of managing the game and playing for the point, they tried to be cute and got caught. That’s not what happened tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Islanders were able to take the win and the series.
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On to round two now and a date with either the Washington Capitals or the Carolina Hurricanes.