Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

NHL: New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL: New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

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. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 3-1. After the Penguins broke a scoreless tie midway through the second period, the Islanders scored three unanswered goals the rest of the way.

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Now, the Islanders' power play wasn't the most threatening in the regular season. Robin Lehner made 25 saves for the Islanders.

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New York, which allowed an NHL-low 196 goals on its way to a second-place finish in the Metropolitan Division, has clamped down on Crosby and linemate Jake Guentzel. And now the team assembled by Lou Lamoriello and expertly coached by Barry Trotz has a chance to complete the sweep with a win in Game 4 here on Tuesday night. The Islanders did it against the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1975. Erik Gudbranson gave the Penguins a 1-0 advantage with 9:24 remaining in the second period with an assist given to Evgeni Malkin. NY is 4-1 in its last five games as an underdog.

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The officiating in this first-round series between the Penguins and Islanders has been pretty bad thus far. Pittsburgh is 115-51 in its last 166 games as a home favorite. They've outscored Pittsburgh 11-5 through three games and have trailed for less than four minutes through nine-plus periods against a team that began the playoffs looking to capture its third Stanley Cup in four years, a dream that's all but vanished. If New York wins a game in Pittsburgh, I'm thinking it has a better possibility in Game 4. Not that the Penguins were looking for sympathy.

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