The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders each coughed up two goals leads as the momentum shifted wildly throughout this contest. At the end of the day, the Pittsburgh Penguins gained the series lead on the strength of a pair of Chris Kunitz’s power-play goals assisted by Sidney Crosby.
Here are some talking points for the Penguins’ 5-4 overtime win:
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- The New York Islanders were a below average penalty killing team in the regular season and they’ve shown an inability to contain the Penguins when they’re down a man in this series. Pittsburgh has converted on six of their 13 power-play opportunities in the first round, but to be fair to the Islanders, Kyle Okposo did score a shorthanded goal in the third period.
- The Penguins acquisitions near the trade deadline played a big role in this game. Jarome Iginla cut the Islanders’ early lead in half and Douglas Murray netted what proved to be a key goal late in the second period.
- John Tavares was limited to just one assist in his first two playoff games, but he forced this match to overtime. It wasn’t enough for the Islanders today, but it probably won’t be the last we see of him in this series.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins showed some faith in Marc-Andre Fleury by keeping him in the game after allowing two early goals. Tomas Vokoun gives them a viable alternative, but it doesn’t look like Fleury is on a short leash.
- The Islanders were 10-11-3 at home during the regular season. Is playing at Nassau Coliseum much of an advantage for the Islanders?
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: