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90 Seconds Sunk the Penguins; Pens Lose to Isles Again, Down 3-0



Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH –It was 90 seconds the start of which electrified the home crowd but the end of which likely sunk the Pittsburgh Penguins season. And maybe more. New York scored a pair of goals immediately after the Penguins scored the first goal of the game and the Penguins lost. Again. Or more specifically, the New York Islanders won, 4-1.

The Penguins trail in the best of seven game series 3-0. The party is almost over.

Penguins fourth line grinder Garrett Wilson scored his first career playoff goal with a reaching deflection of Justin Schultz’ shot from the point. The puck bounced off the ice, under New York goalie Robin Lehner and into the net. The Penguins had just their second lead of the series and the PPG crowd which cranked the volume to level 10 celebrated.

The Penguins apparently also celebrated a little too long. On the following shift, New York quickly generated several chances. The Penguins grew disorganized and New York forward Jordan Eberle (3) found the small space above Penguins goalie Matt Murray’s shoulder and the crossbar.

One minute later, New York struck again and disbelief engulfed the Penguins and 18,00 fans.

Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz pinched forward at center ice after New York swarmed Sidney Crosby. Brock Nelson (2) buried the resulting two-on-one.

Excitement turned to angst in less time than NBC could air two pharmaceutical ads with a beer spot chaser.

The Penguins lead lasted exactly 28 seconds and they have led for only 4:22 in the series.

The teams traded chances and near misses through the second period. Penguins forward Jared McCann’s wrist shot bounced off Lehner but landed on top of the net, not in it. New York defenseman Ryan Pulock used the five-on-three power play space to blast a shot past Murray but off the post. And Sidney Crosby’s shot with a mostly open net hit Pulock’s skate.

The anticipation and emotion of the Pittsburgh crowd began to turn to boos as the Penguins missed opportunities.

Leo Komarov (1) was left wide open midway through the third period and snapped the puck into the net from the right wing.

The Penguins never got closer.

“It’s not over. It’s not over,” Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson said.


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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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2 years ago

I’m unsure why so many Pen fas are surprised at this. This is the way we’ve been playing all year long. No defensive discipline whatsoever.

2 years ago

So many issues with this team but the first Isles goal was a dagger. Murray has to stop that. The guy is a fraud.

2 years ago

I thought the PENS were figuring out the forecheck of the NYI. Hahahahaha I think the NYI are simply the better team top to bottom. From my perspective, the core of the Pens are getting by more on rep than actual play. I still think 87 is the real deal as his line carried the team all year long. Sure, stats can be used to make other “core” players appear as if they are still in their prime, but my eyes disagree. Time to reload and restock the team I do believe Pens win game 4, but certainly not the… Read more »

2 years ago

““It’s not over. It’s not over,” Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson said.” UHHHH, Jack, yes it is!

Edgar, the only thing that is surprising me is that this series may be over in a sweep. I predicted the Isles in 6, and frankly, as you said, the way this team has played all year I can’t believe anyone had the pens winning this series.

Ricardo, you are absolutely right, not your 1st sentence, but the rest, no doubt.

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