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Islanders: Three reason to be pessimistic for Penguins series

Mar 29, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; The Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate after a goal by right wing Anthony Angello (57) as New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) retrieves the puck from the net during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; The Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate after a goal by right wing Anthony Angello (57) as New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) retrieves the puck from the net during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores the shoot-out game-winner against Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores the shoot-out game-winner against Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Regular Season Record

Now to look outwards. And the most glaring issue facing the Islanders in a best-of-seven series against the Penguins is the Isles record against them

Over eight games in the regular season, the Islanders hold a 2-4-2 record against the Penguins. Flip that record to look at it from a Penguins perspective and it’s 6-2-0.

Only one of the Islanders wins was “convincing”, which was a 2-0 victory on February 28th. Wahlstrom and Pageau scored power-play goals to secure the win while the Isles outshot the Pens 30-20, and held a 64.08 xGF% at 5on5.

It’s not as if the Islanders have played poorly against the Penguins this year. When it comes to the underlying numbers the Isles have done well against the Penguins this year.

*All data from NaturalStatTrick and at 5on5

Of course, winning the Corsi or xGF battle at 5on5 like the Islanders did – 50.07 CF% and 54.26 xGF% – doesn’t guarantee a win, but the Isles clearly played the game they wanted to play and still the Penguins bested them.

That’s a cause for concern. It seems that the Penguins just got the best of the Islanders this season for…reasons. But it really boils down to the next point: offense.

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