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game recap

Islanders top Penguins in Game 2, extend lead in Eastern series

Eberle, Bailey score in third period, Lehner makes 32 saves for New York

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Eberle's nifty go-ahead goal

PIT@NYI, Gm2: Eberle beats Murray with backhand

R1, Gm2: Jordan Eberle drives to the net and flips a backhand past Matt Murray to put the Islanders ahead, 2-1, in the 3rd period

  • 01:05 •

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Jordan Eberle scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period for the New York Islanders in a 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Nassau Coliseum on Friday.

Eberle gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 7:54 when he took a pass from Mathew Barzal in the right circle and scored on a backhand over a diving Justin Schultz.

New York leads the best-of-7 series 2-0. Game 3 is at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

 

[WATCH: Penguins vs. Islanders Game 2 highlights | Complete series coverage]

 

"It was Friday at the [Coliseum]," Eberle said. "It was awesome, and the boys responded well to the energy. We played a strong game throughout and it's only going to be that way as each game gets more and more important. It was a good job by us taking advantage of home ice, but we have to get ready for Sunday."

Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey scored, Barzal had two assists, and Robin Lehner made 32 saves for the Islanders, who last led a series 2-0 in the 1983 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers (won series 4-0).

Video: PIT@NYI, Gm2: Beauvillier taps home rebound on rush

The line of Anders Lee-Barzal-Eberle has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the series.

"That line was really good," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "[Eberle and Barzal] are attacking, they're skating so well, and they're playing off each other. Eberle's goal was fantastic in a tight space there and it was a big goal for us."

Erik Gudbranson scored, and Matt Murray made 31 saves for the Penguins, who have lost four straight Stanley Cup Playoff games dating to the 2018 Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals.

Video: PIT@NYI, Gm2: Gudbranson rings one in off the post

"I thought we still did a good job of generating chances and had some big penalty kills to keep us in the game," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "We had opportunities similar to last game (a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 1), but they hung around and got the win.

"We just have to execute a little better."

New York went 1-for-6 on the power play. Pittsburgh was 0-for-2.

Video: PIT@NYI, Gm2: Bailey doubles the lead with PPG

"It's tough being in the penalty box that much," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "It takes some guys out of the lineup and then you're overtaxing others. It's hard to get into a flow, so it certainly was a challenge."

Gudbranson gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead with a slap shot from the point through traffic at 10:36 of the second period. It was his first NHL playoff goal and first with the Penguins, who acquired him in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 25.

Beauvillier tied it 1-1 at 13:25, scoring his first NHL playoff goal with a rebound in the crease following Barzal's shot on a 2-on-1.

"Our defense is doing an unbelievable job, getting back to pucks and moving it to our forwards," Islanders center Casey Cizikas said. "They're getting the puck up quick and we're getting it in their zone and playing below their goal line. That's where we play our best hockey. We're going to continue trying to do that."

Bailey scored a power-play goal to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead at 11:38 of the third period.

 

They said it

"The message is, it's the first team to win four games and not the first to win two games. So we have to go back home, control what we can to win one game, and then we'll go from there." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

"We stuck with our game. I think everyone was involved, everyone was playing their game. I thought we were patient, but structured. They're a really good team. They're going to find ways to get some chances. No matter if we play really good defensively, they still find some chances. But it was a lot better than the back-and-forth game in Game 1." -- Islanders goalie Robin Lehner

 

Need to know

Crosby, who had 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in the regular season, and Penguins forward Jake Guentzel, who had 76 points (40 goals, 36 assists), do not have a point. … Penguins forward Jared McCann was scratched because of an upper-body injury and was replaced by Teddy Blueger, who had two shots in 11:41 of ice time. … Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson played 16:09 after being a healthy scratch in Game 1. ... Eberle, who has four points (two goals, two assists) in the series, has been on the ice for six of the seven goals scored by New York. ... Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck had a game-high eight hits.

 

What's next

Game 3 of Eastern Conference First Round at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday (12 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Video: Eberle, Lehner lead Isles to Game 2 win vs. Penguins

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