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game recap

Islanders shut down Penguins in Game 3, one win from sweep

Lehner makes 25 saves; Eberle scores for third consecutive game

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

Eberle's sharp-angle tally

NYI@PIT, Gm3: Eberle snipes wrister from tough angle

R1, Gm3: Jordan Eberle receives a pass from Ryan Pulock on the doorstep and fires a sharp-angle shot past Matt Murray to tie the game at 1

  • 00:55 •

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Islanders moved within one victory of eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-1 victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.

Robin Lehner made 25 saves for New York, which leads the best-of-7 series 3-0 and can complete its first series sweep since defeating the Edmonton Oilers in the 1983 Stanley Cup Final by winning Game 4 here on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS2, ATTSN-PT, MSG, MSG+).

"This group, we've talked about just worrying about one game," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "You just want to compete so you can continue to play. This group is not afraid of work. They're not afraid of competition. They're not afraid of a whole lot. They just go out and do their job. Everybody does their job."

 

[WATCH: Islanders vs. Penguins Game 3 highlights | Complete series coverage]

 

Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson scored 1:02 apart in the first period for the Islanders after Garrett Wilson had given the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Leo Komarov scored midway through the third period, and Anders Lee scored into an empty net for New York, which has outscored Pittsburgh 11-5 through three games.

Video: NYI@PIT, Gm3: Lehner alertly stands tall to deny Pens

Matt Murray made 32 saves for Pittsburgh, which last lost the first three games of a series in 2013, when it was swept by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final. Penguins center Sidney Crosby has been held without a point in the first three games.

"You've got to find ways to score goals this time of year," Crosby said. "It's not easy, but you have to find a way to do it. Obviously, we haven't done a good enough job of that these first three games."

Wilson gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead by deflecting a shot from Marcus Pettersson past Lehner at 12:54 of the first period. But Eberle tied it 28 seconds later. He took a pass from Ryan Pulock just above the goal line to the left of the net, and his wrist shot hit Murray's shoulder and went into the top corner at 13:22 to make it 1-1. Eberle has scored a goal in each of the first three games.

Nelson put the Islanders ahead 2-1 at 14:24, finishing off a 2-on-1 rush by taking a snap shot that beat Murray to the blocker side for his second goal of the playoffs.

Video: NYI@PIT, Gm3: Nelson buries wrister on odd-man rush

"Another good response by us," Nelson said. "There's been lots of talking from the coaching staff and the players of just sticking with it, staying even. Not getting too high or too low, especially now. In the playoffs, there's a lot of emotion and high intensity. So great job by us and good job in the second and third period of keeping it going."

Komarov made it 3-1 at 10:27 of the third period after Anthony Beauvillier tipped a pass from Valtteri Filppula to him in the right face-off circle. He scored on a wrist shot past Murray's glove for the first playoff goal of his NHL career.

Lee made it 4-1 by scoring into an empty net with 1:28 remaining.

 

They said it

"I thought we played a good game. Again, everyone was on board. We stuck to our structure. We played really hard. ... They're going to have their spurts in the game where they come hard and they're going to create. We're just doing a really good job right now of staying tight and helping each other out with rebounds and loose pucks." -- Islanders goalie Robin Lehner

"In the first period, we get a big goal at the end of our power play. They were able to come back and answer it in a fairly short time frame. It seems like, in each game at this point, that's occurred. We have to do a better job of hanging onto the momentum when we get it." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

Need to know

Teams that lead a best-of-7 NHL playoff series 3-0 have a series record of 186-4. ... The goals by Eberle and Nelson were the fastest pair of playoff goals scored by the Islanders since Kip Miller and Mariusz Czerkawski scored 38 seconds apart in Game 6 of the 2002 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs. ... Eberle is the second player in Islanders history to score in each of his first three playoff games with New York; Ray Ferraro did it in 1993. ... Penguins forward Jared McCann returned after missing Game 2 with an upper-body injury. He had two shots and five hits in 14:23. ... Murray has lost his past five starts in the playoffs, including Games 5 and 6 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals. ... The Penguins have had the lead twice in the series for a combined 3:17.

 

What's next

Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS2, ATTSN-PT, MSG, MSG+)

Video: Isles top Pens 4-1 to grab commanding 3-0 series lead

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