The Upshot: The NY Islanders with a gutsy 4-2 win in Pittsburgh
HOW IT HAPPENED
Behind 44 saves from Ilya Sorokin, the New York Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second time in four days with a 4-2 win at PPG Paints Arena on Monday night. Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, Bo Horvat and Anders Lee scored 1:41 apart to grab the lead for the Islanders (29-24-7). Brock Nelson would score his second of the game into an empty net to secure the win as the Penguins pressured playing 6-on-5.
Jake Guentzel and Jason Zucker scored for the Penguins (27-20-9), who have lost three in a row. Jarry returned to the lineup after missing nine games and made 28 saves in the loss.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Following the news that Mathew Barzal was 'week-to-week,' it would be understandable if the team lost to the rival Penguins on the road Monday night. But even after they were outshot 17-9 in the first period, the Islanders kept battling and simply stuck around. Ilya Sorokin was fantastic in net, and the Isles stayed close enough, long enough, for their best players to come up big. Plus, a second-period scrum seemed to give the team an edge the rest of the way.
"We upped our compete a little bit," Matt Martin said. "There's an emotional scrum late and the second that all five guys are in on and that kind of ups the emotion. You come in here at intermission and you want to beat them that much more but we just we knew we're capable of coming back.
WHAT WENT WRONG
There was some hope before the game that Simon Holmstrom would make the most out of his opportunity to play on the top line with Anders Lee and Bo Horvat. The rookie, who has just three goals in 32 games this season, has more offense to his game than he's shown at the NHL level, and playing with Lee and Horvat should've brought that out.
However, Holmstrom struggled in the first period and was briefly taken off the line. By the third period, Matt Martin was getting shifts with Horvat and Lee and provided the primary assist on Lee's game-winning goal in the third. Holmstrom finished the game with 8:50 TOI.
"It was fun playing with them," Martin said. "They're two big bodies and in a lot of ways they play a similar game. They want to hold the puck down will be big and strong on it. Play a responsible game.
STATS OF THE GAME
Per NHL PR, The Islanders scored three unanswered goals to complete their seventh third-period comeback win of the season. The only teams with more are Vegas (9), Vancouver (8) and Tampa Bay (8). Bo Horvat (35-25—60) recorded the second 60-point season of his career after first hitting the mark in 2018-19 (27-34—61).
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Another Ilya Sorokin save that will make its way on Top 10 lists on various sports programming on Tuesday morning. Jake Guentzel made a play on net that had Sorokin moving to his left. The pass was deflected and then corralled by Kris Letang, who got off a backhand that looked destined for the empty net before Sorokin stuck out his stick and made an absurd paddle save.
The Islanders return home to take on the Winnipeg Jets for the first time this season.
Face-off from UBS Arena is 7:00 PM ET