‘No one thought we could do it’; Isles come back against Pens to keep streak alive
The words ‘No one thought we could do it’ could be faintly heard by Johnny Boychuk on a hot mic. This came after Brock Nelson poked an overtime winning goal past Matt Murray and into the Pittsburgh net. And according to Elias Sports Bureau, the feat the Islanders accomplished on Tuesday night had never been done before.
The Islanders came back from multiple goals down with less than seven minutes left in back-to-back games. On Tuesday, it was a 4-2 defecit they overcame to win in overtime 5-4. The Penguins came storming out to start the game, scoring twice in the first period and keeping the Islanders at bay. The combination of Bryan Rust (first goal) and Brandon Tanev (second goal) have haunted the Islanders so far this season.
Anthony Beauvillier started off the scoring early in the second. Left wide open in the slot, Beau lifted a wrister past Matt Murray up high. It was Beauvillier’s fifth goal in three games. Just three minutes later, Brock Nelson deflected a Nick Leddy slapshot off the heel of his stick and in to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Islanders, a late goal on a wrap around and deflection off Adam Pelech’s skate gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead.
The Penguins extended their lead in the third when Jake Guentzel was left alone and beat Semyon Varlamov. The Penguins’ PP was excellent on Tuesday, scoring on two of four opportunities. The streak could have ended easily if the Islanders had given up, just like it could have ended on Saturday.
However, these are the Islanders and they never seem to give up on a game, especially in the last 15 games. The most impressive part of this streak is that other than the last Penguins game, they’ve kept their composure when things are tight, going 8-1-1 in one goal games.
With just over four minutes to go, Josh Bailey took a nice feed from Jordan Eberle to the slot and past a diving Murray. The Islanders later emptied their net and found an open Ryan Pulock from the point, who blasted a slapshot past Murray and tied the game with a minute and a half left.
The Islanders could have been content to just extend the streak, but they kept pushing forward in overtime. After many opportunities were squandered early in the OT period, Anthony Beauvillier slapped a puck out of the air and right on Brock Nelson’s stick. Nelson shot one through Murray’s legs that sat in the crease until he poked it in for the win.
It was another character win for a group full of character. The Never Say Dieslanders are a resilient bunch and Tuesday night was no different. They could have said to hell with it and been content with the streak ending. But this isn’t how this team is constructed, and here we are with another two points in the bank.
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