Recap: Pittsburgh Penguins Swept by New York Islanders in Back-to-Back


After losing to the New York Islanders last night at home via a shootout, the Pittsburgh Penguins came to Long Island looking to redeem themselves with a strong win against their divisional foes.

The redemption was not to be, however, as the Islanders outmatched Pittsburgh en route to a 4-1 victory to tie the Pens atop the Metropolitan Division.

Pittsburgh offense sputtered in this one as the team was outshot 35-28 by New York. The Pens’ only goal came late in the first period when Evgeni Malkin showcased some nifty stickhandling before slipping one past the Isles’ tender Jaroslav Halak.

From that point on it was all New York. Pittsburgh netminder Thomas Greiss gave up one to New Yorks’ Matt Martin in the second period after a scrum in front of his net.

The third period saw the Isles net three more, from Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and captain John Tavares.

It was a chippy affair that saw tensions rise to the surface on numerous occasions. Pens winger Steve Downie was at the centre of much of it, as the hard-nosed winger dropped the gloves with Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic in the first period and was sent off with a game misconduct in the third.

Pens grinder Zach Sill was given a 10-minute misconduct late in the third as well as he and Hamonic nearly threw down.

After switching up the lines due to the loss of veteran winger Pascal Dupuis, head coach Mike Johnston has seen mixed results. The second-line trio of Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, and Nick Spaling seems to working out decently, evidenced by Malkin’s goal tonight, but the first line has been lacking and the overall offense has looked much weaker than it did at the beginning of the season.

Johnston tinkered with the lineup in the third period when Pittsburgh was in need of a spark, playing Hornqvist back up with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, while Malkin skated alongside Brandon Sutter.

After giving up two important games within their division and losing their lead atop the standings, Johnston may be inclined to move some parts around before the Pens’ crucial next game against the Boston Bruins on Monday.