Photo credit: Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
If sluggish were a hockey team, it would have been the New York Islanders on Saturday night in Pittsburgh. The red hot Pittsburgh Penguins came to play, and the Islanders did not. The Penguins went up 2-0 in a matter of just over ten minutes. Frederick Gaudreau and Evan Rodrigues scored for the Pens in the first frame.
Just 4:26 into the second period on the power-play, Sidney Crosby scored his fourteenth goal of the season. Again on the power-play, Bryan Rust scored 6:18 in. Isles goaltender Ilya Sorokin was pulled after receiving absolutely no help from his team. Semyon Varlamov was put into New York’s net and gave up a goal to Rust 8:21 into the period. This play from the Islanders was unacceptable and frankly shameful. 10:47 in Mathew Barzal broke free, ended his recent slump, and beat Pittsburgh’s goalie Tristan Jarry. Scott Mayfield (8) got an assist.
New York had finally shown some life and did so at the beginning of the third period. 5:23 into the final regulation frame, Anthony Beauvillier scored his sixth goal of the season. Barzal (17) and Nick Leddy (23) picked up assists. With their net empty, the Isles scored 17:33 into the third. Jordan Eberle scored his eleventh goal of the season. Brock Nelson (8) and Josh Bailey (15) picked up assists. Bailey played in his 900th career game Saturday night and was one of many players his team failed to support. The Isles failed to capitalize on a power-play in which they had an empty net, and 19:18 into the period, Bryan Rust capped off his hat trick and sealed the deal (officially) for his team. Pittsburgh won 6-3. At least Barry Trotz’s Isles showed some life at some points, right?
This memory must be flushed. The Isles will take on the Pens again on Monday night in Pittsburgh. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.