It’s anyone’s guess if the New York Islanders can surge to a playoff spot this season – don’t look at Sports Club Stats, Isles fans – but Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins evoked the two teams’ high-flying 2013 playoff series. Unfortunately for John Tavares & Co, that also meant they lost, as Pittsburgh prevailed 6-4.
The Islanders charged out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Michael Grabner and Brock Nelson, but that margin lasted just a little more than three minutes, as Sidney Crosby assisted on a Chris Kunitz goal and scored one of his own. Crosby collected three points overall, expanding his league-leading total to a whopping 72 points.
Ultimately, the Penguins out-gunned the Isles in a thriller of a game, as Pittsburgh’s top guys came through. The larger stats really highlight the Penguins’ dominance (via Liam McHugh during the NBCSN telecast):
- The Penguins have taken seven straight regular season series against the Isles.
- The Pens are 28-8-2 against the Isles in the two teams’ last 38 contests.
- Pittsburgh’s been strong lately, too, with wins in four of five games.
As fun as this contest was to watch, the Islanders have a long way to make it to the playoffs once again. The Penguins highlighted that difference on Thursday.