HOW IT HAPPENED
The Islanders completed their first regular season sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins with a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night. Brock Nelson scored the game-winner 2:31 into overtime after Anders Lee scored the tying goal with 1:15 left to play. Lee had two goals for the Islanders (34-25-8), who also received a third-period goal from Hudson Fasching for the second straight game. Ilya Sorokin made 33 saves. Jake Guentzel and Jason Zucker scored, and Jeff Petry had two assists for the Penguins (32-22-10), who now are two points behind the Islanders with three games in hand in the Wild Card race. Tristan Jarry made 24 saves in defeat.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Islanders were simply resilient. It would've been easy to accept that it wasn't going to be their night and that it was too much to ask them to sweep the Penguins and mount another third-period comeback, but that is exactly what they did.
The Islanders have now outscored their opponents 17-1 in third periods through the last ten games and outscored Pittsburgh 8-0 in the final 20 minutes this season. The spark came from Hudson Fasching. A game after scoring the first game-winning goal of his career, Fasching's give-and-go goal with Casey Cizikas gave the Islanders life late and set the stage for the comeback.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Islanders weren't very good through the first two periods and were lucky to still be in the game after two periods, trailing 3-1. The Penguins dominated play 5-on-5 but were unable to score on their three power-play chances (all on Scott Mayfield penalties), which allowed the Islanders to hang around long enough to start the comeback. After having just 13 shots through two periods, they had 13 shots in the third period alone against Tristan Jarry.
"It wasn't our prettiest game of late by any means, but we battled," Anders Lee said. "We fought for that one quite a bit. The last 20 minutes we did everything we could to right the ship and get back in that game."
STATS OF THE GAME
Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, Ilya Sorokin is the first Islander to defeat Pittsburgh four times in one season since Rick DiPietro, also 4, in 2006-07. Sorokin is the first Islander to win all four of his starts vs. Pittsburgh. Anders Lee is the first NHL player to score seven goals against Pittsburgh in a season since Alex Ovechkin in 2009-10.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
As soon as we heard go Brendan say, “HE SCOOOOOOOOOOREEEESSS” we all wished the MSG “Brendan Cam” was back, and luckily, a variation of it, thanks to Alan Fuehring was rolling!
The Islanders continue their stretch against teams in the Eastern Conference wild-card mix on Saturday night when they host the Washington Capitals.
Face-off from UBS Arena is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET.