Jordan Eberle scored for the third straight game, Robin Lehner stopped 25 shots and the Islanders rolled to a 4-1 victory over the stunned Penguins on Sunday in Pittsburgh to take a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
An under-hyped Islanders team will go for the sweep of the Penguins on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Expect the Penguins to play with a lot of desperation here as a 3-0 series deficit would basically be the kiss of death. The Islanders did it against the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1975. It was Eberle's third goal and sixth point in the first three games of the postseason.
"We kind of did our best to play simple hockey and really just grind it out a little bit", said NY forward Anders Lee, whose empty-net goal with 1:28 to go pushed the Islanders to the cusp of an unlikely sweep.
And then 62 seconds after that, a bad read from Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz led to a 2-on-1 break for the Islanders, where Brock Nelson beat Murray inside the far post for a 2-1 advantage the Islanders would take into the third period. After the Penguins broke a scoreless tie midway through the second period, the Islanders scored three unanswered goals the rest of the way.
Rain and thunderstorms will not affect the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff game inside PPG Paints Arena, but for fans outside it could cause some issues.
"If we work hard and do the right things, we'll earn our bounces", Crosby said. They're also aware the next victory will be the hardest to come by. "They're not afraid of competition". It's going to be tough for the Penguins to secure a victory in NY, but it's critical if they want any hope of winning the series.