- 1:51 NYI Brock Nelson (Power Play); Assists: Ryan Strome, John Tavares
- 2:34 NYI Anthony Beauvillier (unassisted)
- 13:55 PIT Trevor Daley; Assists: Phil Kessel, Chris Kunitz
Kris Letang scored 1:24 into overtime, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the last-place New York Islanders 3-2 on Friday night to rebound from one of their worst losses in recent memory. >> Read more
An overtime loss notwithstanding, there were a lot of positives to take away from this one. The penalty kill was very strong (thankfully, because the Isles had a hard time staying out of the box again), the power play had a lot more jump to it,and New York was far more aggressive both in transition and getting its defensemen involved in the offense. It wasn't perfect, as the Isles had a few lapses in coverage and got caught standing still in their own zone, but it was their best effort in weeks, by far.
Isn't it interesting that two of the Isles' best games this season have come against the Penguins, a team that is so quick and forces the Isles to play fast? It's almost like the Islanders default to a more aggressive, speedy, possession-heavy game to compete with the reigning champs, yielding much better effort in the process. Makes you wonder why they haven't play with this sense of urgency against everyone.
Ultimately, the trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang did the Isles in with some pretty passing in overtime. That's a tough lineup to keep off the board with that much open ice. So while the outcome wasn't quite what we hoping for, there's a reason the Pens hoisted the hardware last season. If the Isles can bring this kind of game on the road with them, maybe the results will start to follow.
Next game: The Islanders travel to California to play the Ducks on Tuesday at 10 p.m.