Here are some key takeaways…
– Pittsburgh jumped out to a quick start, as Jeff Carter got behind the Islanders’ defense in transition and beat Ilya Sorokin for his fourth goal of the series. Just like that, the Islanders trailed 1-0 less than 90 seconds into the game.
The Islanders didn’t take long to answer back. Just over five minutes in, Anthony Beauvillier burned Sidney Crosby down the ice in transition, beating Tristan Jarry with a backhander to tie the game 1-1 on the Islanders’ first shot of the game. The goal was Beauvillier’s third of the playoffs. Brock Nelson got the assist on a beautiful lead pass to find his teammate behind the defense.
– Pittsburgh then jumped back in front on the powerplay midway through the period. Jake Guentzel ripped a one-time from the slot, and it deflected off of Ryan Pulock and past Sorokin for the goal, putting Pittsburgh up 2-1.
But the Islanders answered back again, proving that good things happen when you throw the puck at the net. Off a Penguins turnover, Jean-Gabriel Pageau sent a shot on net, and a huge rebound bounced right to Kyle Palmieri, who beat Jarry to tie the game, just 73 seconds after the Islanders had fallen behind.
Both teams got some good looks in the final couple minutes, but the first period ended in a 2-2 draw.
– Just as they did in the first, Pittsburgh struck quickly in the second, as Jason Zucker lit the lamp less than two minutes into the period, making it a 3-2 game. But the Islanders did what they’d been doing all game, answering quickly with a beautiful goal from Nelson that came on a one-timer off a nice feed from Josh Bailey.
Then, just 13 seconds later Pulock ripped a slapshot off a faceoff win to beat Jarry and make it a 4-3 game. Less than three minutes later, Nelson netted another goal, giving the Islanders a 5-3 lead. A 3-0 Islanders burst over a three-minute span had the Nassau Coliseum jumping.
The score stayed that way through the end of the second.
– The 5-3 score held for most of the third, as Sorokin helped the two-goal lead stand by stopping everything thrown his way. Late in the period, a double minor put the Islanders on a four-minute power play. The Isles had a couple of good looks, but couldn’t add to their lead.
Nelson had a late chance to notch a hat trick with an empty-net goal, but his tight-single shot hit the side of the net.
– Sorokin made 34 saves in the win, and the Islanders closed out a playoff series at the Coliseum for the first time since 1993.
The Islanders will face the Boston Bruins in the second round. The Bruins defeated the Capitals in five game.