It wasn't supposed to take six games and two overtime victories, but the Pittsburgh Penguins got it done.
The New York Islanders put up a great fight and even managed to contain Pittsburgh's world-class stars for large stretches. Nevertheless, the Penguins are moving on after defeating the Islanders 4-3 in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. That opening-series win can be attributed to some of the things everyone expected the top-seeded Penguins to do. But there were some surprises that helped Pittsburgh make it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Here are five reasons the Penguins advanced:
1. Bounce-back goals
The Islanders got the jump for much of the series, but the Penguins never relented and were usually able to claw their way back into almost every game. On five occasions, they answered an Islanders goal by scoring less than 2:05 later. In a 6-4, Game 4 loss, the Penguins twice responded to an Islanders goal by scoring less than a minute later.
That quick answer time and again denied the upstart Islanders any opportunity to pull away.