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Game 3 Preview: Islanders at Penguins

The Islanders hold a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Pittsburgh (12 p.m., NBC)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha /








The Islanders overcame a one-goal deficit to beat the Penguins 3-1 and double their series lead 2-0. The Isles had goals from Anthony Beauvillier, Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey. Erik Gudbranson scored Pittsburgh's lone marker. Robin Lehner made 32 saves in his second playoff win. Matt Murray 31 saves. 


- For the first time since 1983 Stanley Cup Final, the Islanders have taken a 2-0 series lead. 

"We're playing hard, we're playing physical and we're playing smart hockey," Casey Cizikas said. "We're getting back on the forecheck. Our d have good gaps. We're playing Islander hockey right now. That can be frustrating for teams."

- After having home-ice advantage for the last two games, the series shifts to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4. Trotz said the Islanders tend to simplify their game on the road, so while the Isles expect a pushback in Pittsburgh, the coach feels his team is well-equipped to weather the storm. 

"We're a real good road team because of the fact that we weren't trying to put on a show. We were just doing our thing. We've had some of our best games all year on the road." 

The Islanders went 18-7-2 in their last 27 road games during the regular season. The Islanders are 62-76 on the road in all-time playoff games.  

- Anthony Beauvillier scored his first career playoff goal 13:25 into the second period. Beauvillier scored 18 goals during the regular season.

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- Jordan Eberle leads the Islanders with four points (2G, 2A) in the series. Eberle, who has scored in back-to-back games, has already doubled his previous playoff production (two assists in 13 games with Edmonton in 2017). 

- Josh Bailey also scored for a second straight game. Bailey scored 11:38 into the third period on the power play to put the Isles ahead 3-1. Bailey scored the OT winner in Game 1. 

- Mathew Barzal recorded two assists and was a plus-two in Game 2. Barzal leads the Islanders with three assists in the series. Barzal led the Isles with 62 points (18G, 44A) in the regular season. 

- The tensions between teams continued to escalate in Game 2. Following Beauvillier's goal, a scrum ensued in front of Pittsburgh's net and even after the final whistle, exchanges continued on the ice. The teams combined for 77 hits, 41 from the Isles and 36 for the Penguins. 

"We've played pretty disciplined all year," Trotz said. "That hasn't been a factor. We don't have to prove anything. We trust that there's a way we have to play and there's a responsibility to every individual that's in that room on how you have to respond or not respond. We've done that. They're trying to get us to react. We're not going to react." 

- The Isles power play is 2-for-8 in the series after going 1-for-6 in Game 2 and 1-for-2 in Game 1. 

"I'll take 20-percent all day long," Trotz said of the power play. "We've really worked on it. The last couple of games I think it's been getting a little bit of confidence. It made a difference every game. That's what you want."

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- The Penguins are down 0-2 in a series for first time since the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals against Boston. 

- For the second straight game, the Islanders kept Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel off of the scoresheet. Crosby reached the 100-point mark in the regular season for the sixth time in his 14-year NHL career. Guentzel led the Penguins with 40 goals in the regular season.

- Evgeni Malkin has a team-high three points in the series. Malkin has 14 points (3G, 11A) in eight career playoff games against the Isles. 

- Jack Johnson returned to the Penguins lineup in Game 2 after being a healthy scratch for Game 1. The veteran defenseman played in all 82 games for the Penguins. Johnson stepped in for Olli Maatta, who was scratched and was paired with Justin Schultz. Johnson was minus-one and had four hits. 

- Jared McCann remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury that he sustained in Game 1. The Pens forward was on the receiving end of a hit from Cal Clutterbuck and did not play in Game 2. McCann said he felt "optimistic" about returning, but there are no official updates. 

- With McCann out of the lineup, Teddy Blueger made his playoff debut in Game 2 alongside Matt Cullen and Garrett Wilson.  

- Pens head coach Mike Sullivan experimented with different line combinations to try and spark some offense throughout Game 2. Some of the variations included; Guentzel-Crosby-Dominik Simon line, Rust-Malkin-Patric Hornqvist and Zach Aston-Reese-Nick Bjugstad-Phil Kessel. 


Lehner looking sharp in first playoff starts

Playoff tensions escalating between Islanders and Penguins

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