Sidney Crosby came back strong in Game 2, burying two first period goals but the rest of the Penguins did not matchup. Crosby is one of the greatest hockey players in the world but the Penguins can not rely on him to be the winning key to their game, the quick return of Crosby could have been the element that affected chemistry on the line. The Islanders responded by intensity and turned Game 2 into a one goal game; the Islanders came back from a 3-1 deficit to win Game 2, 4-3. The Islanders have great offense and made this an interesting series as they have tied it, 1-1 going into Game 3 today. The 8th seeded Islanders have a chance to win it all, in fact last year the 8th seeded team took home the Stanley Cup. The key for the Penguins today are to come hard and never letting the pressure off of the Islanders who are feeling the home ice advantage.
The Islanders brought speed, intensity and physicality early in the game as they opened up scoring against the Penguins. The Penguins struggled to clear the puck from their zone and struggled to match the speed of the Islanders as the Islanders scored again, taking a 2-0 lead early in the first. The Islanders controlled the puck most of the first period, and went 0-2 on their power plays. The Penguins gained a 5-3 power play and took advantage scoring a goal, followed by another goal separated by 19 seconds and Game 3 was tied. This was the turning point of the game and with one minute remaining in the first period Crosby centers it for Dupius and the Penguins will claim the lead.
After having the first period slip away from them the Islanders start the second period like they did the first period, strong with a focus on fore-checking and no mercy. The Penguins take a two goal lead courtesy of Douglas Murray defensive defenseman. Murray has been a great addition to the Penguins team; he is big, physical and a menace for opponent’s intent on playing in front of his net and in this situation he showed some great offensive skill, advancing the Penguins lead 4-2.
Going into the third period, the Islanders kept applying the pressure and kept up their speed against the Penguins. An early period penalty kill for the Islanders amounted in a short handed goal, as the Islanders attempted to close the gap and turn this game into a one goal game. Fleury was not able to see the next puck that flew into his net, tying Game 3 at 4-4 for the Islanders. The Islanders earn another power play, their third of the game but it does not amount to anything, the Islanders are 0-3 on their power plays. Regulation time ended with the teams still tied 4-4 as they enter over time with the Islanders fighting to take the series lead. The Islanders have had everything to prove in this series against the top seeded Eastern Conference Penguins and with exception to Game 1 the Islanders have been a force to be reckoned with in Game 2 and 3. The Islanders kept the pressure on during over time and kept puck possession creating many opportunities. Nearly ten minutes into over time and the Islanders Brian Strait headed to the penalty box giving Penguins their first over time power play. Chris Kunitz denies the Islanders a series lead and scoring his second goal of the game winning Game 3, 5-4 for the Penguins. The Pittsburg Penguins now lead the series 2-1 going into Game 4 on Tuesday.