The Upshot: Lee, Barzal lead NY Islanders past Penguins, 5-1

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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HOW IT HAPPENED

Mat Barzal and Anders Lee led the Islanders on the scoresheet tonight as they each picked up two goals and helped the Islanders to defeat the Penguins, 5-1. Lee started the Islanders' scoring off early in the first period as he scored to make it, 1-0. Pierre-Oliver Joseph would find the net to tie it up for the Penguins. Lee would put the game away early in the third period as his second, and final goal of the night would give the Islanders the four-goal lead.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Lee picked up goals number 12 and 13 on the season tonight. Lee now has four goals in the past six games, and now has at least a point in each of the last three games. Lee, who picked up 28 goals last season, looks to be on pace for another 25+ goal season.

The second period was phenomenal for the Islanders. Barzal started things off with a goal less than a minute into the period. This was followed by a beautiful pass by Noah Dobson that hit Bailey for a wide-open net and a Josh Bailey goal. This was Dobson's 14th assist on the season and his 24th point on the season. He is now on track for another big season, as he already picked up his 24th point in only 36 games played. With just above three minutes remaining, Barzal would score his second goal of the period and extend the Islanders' lead, to 4-1.

"Sick pass. That’s great vision. Yeah, that’s really good hockey."

Mat Barzal on Dobson's pass to Bailey

WHAT WENT WRONG

This was a decent game where not much really went wrong for the Islanders. However, the Islanders failed to capitalize on the powerplay unit as they went zero for three on the powerplay tonight. Thankfully those goals wouldn't have made a huge difference since the score gap was so large. However, morale wise it would have been nice for the Islanders to pick up at least one powerplay goal against one of the league's best penalty kill units.

STATS OF THE GAME

The Penguins only lost one other time in the month of December to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders are the second team to defeat the Penguins this month.

Per Eric Hornick of The Skinny, the NY Islanders have won two consecutive games by at least four goals for the first time in over 28 years. The last time this happened was in the 1994 season on February 19th and 21st.

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

The Islanders had a special guest in the house for tonight's game. Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, and Gold Medalist, Anastasia Pagonis was at UBS Arena as she got to hang out with Islanders star, the first "Puppy with a Purpose," Radar.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Islanders next take the ice on Thursday, Dec. 29, when they welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to UBS Arena at 7:30 PM EST.

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