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Penguins Facing 3-0 Deficit

17 April 2019
Penguins Facing 3-0 Deficit

The New York Islanders are on the cusp of just their second playoff series win in more than a quarter-century.

Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins returns to the bench as the New York Islanders celebrate a third period goal by Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on April 12, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. Robin Lehner made 25 saves for the Islanders.

The Penguins are 27-10 in their last 37 Sunday games. Yet the Islanders certainly look like they belong on the big stage.

They failed to take advantage of a rowdy home crowd early in the contest, failed to generate any life during a couple of crucial power-play opportunities later in the game and, perhaps in. Center Leo Komarov, left wing Anders Lee and center Brock Nelson also were able to beat Matthew Murray to light the lamp, as the Islanders seized a 3-0 series lead, pushing the Penguins to the brink of elimination.

Brock Nelson proceeded to give the Islanders the lead just over a minute later, then Leo Komarov and Anders Lee neeted in the third period to cement the win, which put team up 3-0 in a playoff series for the first time in almost 36 years.

The Penguins insisted it wasn't time to panic, with coach Mike Sullivan downplaying the idea his team needed to play with desperation. He still opted to tinker with his lines in search of a spark, elevating Dominik Simon to the top line alongside Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel and putting Jared McCann - who sat out Game 2 with a lower-body injury - on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel.

The offense for Pittsburgh was stagnated in the Game 2 3-1 loss to the Islanders as it fell into a 2-0 series deficit. Not that the Penguins were looking for sympathy. "They're not afraid of competition". NY also kept Pittsburgh's stars quiet as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Jake Guentzel combined for zero points.