Penguins beat Islanders in OT to take 2-1 series lead

 

What was lost in the euphoria surrounding the Islanders’ first playoff appearance in six years was that playoff games, by their very nature, can be painful.

It is a lesson the Islanders learned Sunday afternoon.

“We played [well]. We played a good game. We need to regroup and know that we’re playing some good hockey. We’re creating opportunities and believe in ourselves,” said John Tavares after the Islanders’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 is Tuesday night at the Coliseum.

Chris Kunitz’s power-play goal 8:44 into the extra session was the game-winner. Sidney Crosby drew the penalty by forcing Brain Strait to taking a holding penalty as the best player in the world curled toward Evgeni Nabokov.

For good measure, Crosby recorded the primary assist on Kunitz’s game-winner. The Penguins’ captain finished with three points — all on assists. Kunitz had two goals, and Jarome Iginla, Pascal Dupuis and Douglas Murray added one each.

“[The assists are] typical [of what] Sidney Crosby can do,” Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said. “I like [his] drawing the penalty the best.”

Yesterday’s game was only Crosby’s second in the last 16 games. He suffered a broken jaw when he was struck by a Brooks Orpik slapshot in the Penguins’ 2-0 win over the Islanders at CONSOL Energy Center on March 30

“He hasn’t played a ton of hockey. He isn’t totally there [conditioning-wise],” Bylsma said. “His play down low in the overtime period [is indicative of what he can do].”

Kunitz’s game-winner was merely the final scene of an incredible three-act play authored by the Atlantic Division rivals. The teams experienced momentum surges throughout.

The Islanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 5:41 thanks to goals from Matt Moulson (1:43) and Casey Cizikas (5:41).

But the Islanders could not grow the lead despite pressuring a back-on-their-heels Penguins squad. Some of it was due to Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 32 saves. Some of it was a first-time playoff team making mistakes, such as Michael Grabner’s drop pass at the blue line creating an offsides.

And much of it was yielding three power-play goals. Pittsburgh was 3-for-5 with the man advantage Sunday afternoon, including the game’s first two goals which tied the game late in the first period.

“Your penalty kill obviously starts in goal and works its way out. We have a certain structure that we want to use,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. “We took some wrong routes [Sunday] on our penalty kill. The entries for them were way too easy. They established zone time right away, and they were able to work the puck in the zone. When you allow that to happen, with the skill guys that they have, they’re going to take advantage of it.

“To me, when I look at the penalty kill, it’s the first eight seconds, it’s the desperation. We won some key faceoffs tonight; we never cleared the puck 200 feet. That all comes back to haunt you and that’s what happened. Execution on the PK, from a details standpoint, has to be better.”

Down 4-2 in the third, the Islanders fought back to tie the game. Kyle Okposo’s second goal of the series cut the deficit to 4-3. Tavares tied the game 5:17 later with his first of the series.

“Your best players are going to be your best players for us to have a chance,” Capuano said.

They were, but they are down 2-1 in a series that, arguably, they should be leading. Yet, rather than frustration, the Islanders feel good.

“The sun is going to come up tomorrow,” Capuano said. “It takes four to win the series.”

Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman for coverage of the Islanders and Rangers throughout the playoffs.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New Apple iPhone to have 'mobile wallet' function:…

(Reuters) - Apple Inc plans to enable its next iPhone to become a mobile wallet by allowing owners to securely make mobile payments in a…

Money

Second Shift: Balancing school, work and a side…

See how a Brooklynite balances getting her PhD while working two other jobs.

Local

NYPD: Early morning shootings reported along West Indian…

Several shootings were reported in the early morning hours before the West Indian Day Parade, according to the NYPD. A 55-year-old man was shot and…

Money

Investing: Buying low, selling high

Learn how rebalancing can help you be successful in investing.

Entertainment

Where to place the blame in a nude…

When a celebrity's private photos are leaked online, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that they only have themselves to blame, since they took…

Gossip

Security expert weighs in on 'The Fappening' and…

We speak to Rik Ferguson, vice president of security firm Security Research at Trend Micro, about the hundreds of hacked celebrity photos that leaked.

Gossip

Who is Ashlee Simpson’s new husband anyway?

Find out five things about Ashlee Simpson's new husband, Evan Ross.

Entertainment

Jennifer Lawrence and more: The big names on…

The names of more than 100 famous actresses, musicians and athletes were included in a list of purported hacking victims, nude photos of whom were…

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…

Career

The number of telecommuters is expected to nearly…

Until a few years ago, telecommuting was not considered a realistic option at most companies. But with technological advances like high-speed Internet and smartphones, more…

Wellbeing

Your new food ally to ward off type…

For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide, according to a small nutrition trial from…