Islanders Playoff Puck Talk – Game 2 vs Pittsburgh
The New York Islanders played their hearts out in front of a raucous Nassau Coliseum crowd and came out with a 3-1 victory after third period goals by Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey.
Game 2 – Friday, April 12th, 2019 – Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders
Score – 3-1 Islanders
Player of the game – Mathew Barzal
Grade – A
The Islanders got back to basics on Friday night, moving back to their grind-it-out style and frustrating the Penguins in the neutral zone.
Pittsburgh had eight penalties during the game, including six PPs for the Islanders and even a 5-on-3. The Islanders finally broke through late in the third when a Devon Toews’ slap shot made its way onto the stick of Josh Bailey and he put it through Matt Murray to seal the game.
The first period of the game was exactly what the Islanders wanted; very little room to maneuver and ample opportunities for them to strike. While they didn’t score they came into the second with a confidence that they would break through.
Erik Gubrandsen scored for the Pens midway through the second but the Islanders were not phased. Just two minutes and 49 seconds later, a two-on-one led to an Anthony Beauvillier goal, facilitated by a shot on net by Mathew Barzal.
The Islanders took the lead for good midway through the third when Barzal gave a quick pass to Jordan Eberle on the right wing with tight space. Eberle took whatever space he could and somehow got off a backhand that got over the shoulder of Murray and in. Bailey’s PP goal sealed the game and the Islanders now take a 2-0 series lead into Pittsburgh.
- Mathew Barzal has probably been the most impactful player on the ice for both teams. He had another two assists Friday night and has made plays every time he touches the puck.
- The player with the best chances? That would be Matt Martin, who has had at least five Grade A chances over the last two games.
- Two players who still haven’t gotten their proper credit are Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock. The duo has completely shut down Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.
- The other kids are alright too. Devon Toews had an assist Friday and Anthony Beauvillier had a goal.
The Islanders head into Pittsburgh on a roll, taking full advantage of home ice and putting Pittsburgh in a hole. If they’re going to win this series, it’s crucial that they win at least one game away from home. Keep playing their game and they’ll be rewarded. They have Pittsburgh on the ropes. It’s time for the knockout punch.
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