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game recap

Islanders win Game 4, sweep Penguins in first round

Lehner makes 32 saves, Eberle extends playoff goal streak for New York

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

Bailey sets up Nelson for goal

NYI@PIT, Gm4: Nelson buries feed from Bailey

R1, Gm4: Brock Nelson drives toward the front of the net and chips in Josh Bailey's pass to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead late in the 1st

  • 01:00 •

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Islanders advanced to the Eastern Conference Second Round with a 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the first round at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

The Islanders swept a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series for the first time since 1983, in the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers.

New York will play the winner of the series between the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes.

 

[WATCH: Islanders vs. Penguins Game 4 highlights | Complete series coverage]

 

"We wanted to play a certain way," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "We talked about culture and identity. We tried to create that with what we felt we had. We didn't know a lot about our goaltending. We didn't know a lot about our defense. ... Getting everybody to play for each other is a hard thing. Understanding that you just do your job, do it well, do it for the guy next to you."

Jordan Eberle scored for the fourth straight game, Brock Nelson scored his third goal of the playoffs and Robin Lehner made 32 saves for New York.

Video: NYI@PIT, Gm4: Eberle beats Murray on odd-man rush

Jake Guentzel scored for Pittsburgh, which was swept for the first time since the 2013 Eastern Conference Final against the Boston Bruins. Matt Murray made 23 saves.

"We knew the type of game [the Islanders] were going to play and what we were up against," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "You can use any vocabulary you want to describe it. We talked about having patience with our game and taking what the game gives us and making better decisions with the puck so we don't put ourselves in some difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, we put ourselves in some difficult circumstances."

Guentzel gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead 35 seconds into the first period Guentzel took a pass from Sidney Crosby and scored on a wrist shot from the left face-off circle for his only playoff point after scoring 40 goals in the regular season.

Video: NYI@PIT, Gm4: Guentzel scores 35 seconds in

The assist was Crosby's one point of the playoffs after having 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in the regular season. His previous playoff low was four points (two goals, two assists) in five games against the New York Rangers in 2015.

"It's obviously frustrating," Crosby said. "I haven't had a lot of time to digest it. Just disappointing. I think we felt good about our game coming into the playoffs and were playing some good hockey. And then got off to a rough start, but still felt like we had a chance here coming home."

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Islanders move on to Round 2

Eberle tied it 1:34 later. Mathew Barzal carried the puck on a 2-on-1 before passing to Eberle, who scored at 2:09.

"[The series] was definitely closer than it looked," Eberle said. "We had to really work to try to get above them, try to frustrate them and try to limit their chances. Obviously, [Lehner] was huge back there. ... Anytime they had a chance, he was there to stop them."

The Penguins had a 1-0 lead in each of the final three games. Those leads lasted a combined 4:51.

Nelson put the Islanders ahead 2-1 with 1:54 remaining in the first. Tom Kuhnhackl tipped the puck away from Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson behind the net, allowing Josh Bailey to take it and pass to Nelson in front for a wrist shot.

Bailey scored an empty-net goal, making it 3-1 with 38 seconds remaining in the third period.

Video: NYI@PIT, Gm4: Bailey's empty-net goal seals win

 

They said it

"It was four really tight games. Even if we won four, they were down to the wire, every single one of them. You get that sense of relief a little bit because they're a [heck] of a hockey team. ... You don't want to give them life. So there were some nerves there in the end, but we stuck together." -- Islanders goalie Robin Lehner

"They played well and they played hard. They defend hard. So maybe sometimes, with the puck, we were careless. But I thought we played well the last couple games. It just didn't go our way." -- Penguins forward Jake Guentzel

 

Need to know

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (7:40) and forward Cal Clutterbuck (18:48) each left in the second period. Trotz did not provide an update following the game. ... Eberle became the third player in the past seven years to score in each of his first four games of a postseason. He joined Sean Monahan with the Calgary Flames in 2017 and Patrick Marleau with the San Jose Sharks in 2013. ... With his assist on Guentzel's goal, Crosby passed Steve Yzerman for 10th on the NHL's all-time playoff points list with 186 points (66 goals, 120 assists) in 164 games. ... The Penguins lost a sixth straight game in the playoffs, which includes Games 5 and 6 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals, who were coached by Trotz. ... Pittsburgh was outscored 14-6 in the series and 10-3 in the final three games.

 

What's next

Islanders: Game 1 of Eastern Conference Second Round against Washington Capitals or Carolina Hurricanes (TBD)

Penguins: Season over

Video: Islanders win Game 4 to complete sweep of Penguins

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