The Pittsburgh Penguins again rallied from a third period deficit. Such things should not surprise anyone as they have more practice than any other team in the NHL. The Penguins bombarded New York in the third period with intense offensive zone pressure but again shared points by going to overtime.
In the final seconds of overtime, Kris Letang scored his fourth goal this season, and all four have been against the New York Islanders. The Penguins won in OT, 4-3.
The Penguins trailed 2-0 early in the second period, but Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov gifted the Penguins one goal and served up another softy just 26 seconds later.
Evgeni Malkin won the offensive zone faceoff after Oliver Wahlstrom boarded Teddy Blueger to give the Penguins a power play. Sidney Crosby (7) blasted a slapshot from the top of the zone as Varlamov tripped himself. Thank you very much, and the Penguins power play got to add one to its total.
Varlamov was still reeling from his airball and didn’t react to the Penguins play just seconds later. Kris Letang activated as Varlamov stayed in the butterfly, deep in the net. Letang (3) had an open net and didn’t miss.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have won their last three against the New York Islanders, but New York dominated most of the second period and really upped the pressure in the second half of the second period.
Tristan Jarry, who started his seventh straight game, robbed Josh Bailey on a pair of short-handed chances. But Bailey eventually got one.
The Penguins defense was scrambled and chasing. Bailey was left alone in the low slot (2) and quickly took one back from Jarry.
However, the Penguins tied the game just 18 seconds into the third period. Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech misplayed the puck at the offensive blue line, which launched Evgeni Malkin and Jared McCann on a two-on-one. Malkin pulled the defenseman wide, which gave McCann (3) the open slot for a hard wrister.
McCann missed the last six games due to a lower-body injury and was activated from IR on Saturday afternoon.
The Islanders scored first.
Traditionally a Penguins killer, Brock Nelson had three points (1g, 2a) in four games against the Penguins this season. Nelson upped his total with a first-period power goal. After the Penguins failed to clear, Nelson (6) was uncovered at the front of the net and perfectly deflected Oliver Wahlstrom’s pass.
The Islanders were 7-1-1 when scoring first.
Pittsburgh Penguins Talking Points:
Anthony Angello had a spring in his step. He was activated before the game with Jared McCann.
McCann had an excellent game beside Malkin. The goal was pretty, but his play was also solid.
The Not so Good
P.O. Joseph was OK in his third pairing minutes. Head coach Mike Sullivan flipped Joseph and Marcus Pettersson. Joseph may need a reset or a bolt of confidence soon.
The Penguins third line had an uncharacteristic bad game. Until the third period, the line had a 25% Corsi and was rarely seen in the offensive zone. They were on their heels.
It was a different game between the end of the second period and the beginning of the third. The Penguins were awful in the second and at their very best in the third.
The Penguins would like to see that third period team more often, and, just maybe, that team could show up in the first period.