If not for New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov, the scoreboard may have burned out a few lights. Just days after New York coach Barry Trotz said his team had to get the joy back in their game, they opened up and played a little bit of firewagon hockey with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That can be a mistake, and the Penguins had scoring chances by the handful, but only a few goals to show.
New York converted a late power play for a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.
“(The schedule) put us a little behind the eight-ball in the first bit of the game, but then I think we really found our stride and started playing the way we like to,” Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson said.
It was crisp, offensive-minded hockey, more so than loose pond hockey. Defensemen were pressured, goalies tested, and shooters had chances. Call me crazy. It was fun.
And in the loss were more lessons and things to take from the game than many of their wins.