Islanders complete sweep of Penguins with Game 4 victory

Islanders complete sweep of Penguins with Game 4 victory”

Sullivan and Toe Blake (1955-56, 1956-57 Montreal Canadiens) are the only National Hockey League coaches to win Stanley Cups in each of their first two years in charge of a team. But they aren't about to go off a cliff, either.

The series-clinching win was not without its setbacks as the Islanders lost a pair of defensemen to injury.

The resiliency and resolve of Barry Trotz's team was on full display in their clinching game at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night as they overcame an early deficit for the third-straight game. Smarter on both ends of the ice. "It's disappointing for how well we finished the year and the things we played through to get into this position". Guenztel had Pittsburgh's lone goal.

Jordan Eberle scored in each game, including a shot that zipped past Matt Murray in the first period that evened the score just 94 seconds after Guentzel had given the Penguins an early lead.

BetOnline is offering odds that Mike Sullivan will return as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and that the Pens will make the playoffs in 2019-20.

"We didn't execute well and made a few more mistakes than they did", said Crosby, whose assist on Jake Guentzel's goal served as the captain's lone point of the series.

Columbus won its first-ever playoff series in its fifth try and advances to play the victor of the Boston-Toronto series, which the Maple Leafs lead 2-1. Crosby finished with a minus-three goal differential (one for, four against) in the series and had almost as many giveaways (9) and he did shots at five-on-five (5).

The Islanders have certainly earned theirs. No one expected the pesky Isles to sweep the squad with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The goaltending of Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss, too. Like they had been all season, the Islanders were not given much of a chance in the postseason, despite a 103 point season and a second place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

In overtime of Game 1, Kris Letang had the puck on his stick and, for some reason, attempted to carry possession into the offensive zone despite being outnumbered by Islanders defenders and without much help behind him. The Islanders were faster, more determined and more disciplined from the opening puck drop of Game 1 right on through.

Just like Sunday's victory, Nelson followed up Eberle's equalizer and gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead with 1:54 remaining in the first period, one-timing a brilliant pass from behind the net by Josh Bailey past the unsuspecting Murray.

While we're on the subject of big goals from Eberle, how about the series from that guy? Then we'll try to get into a rhythm. NY surrendered a league-worst 296 goals during the 2017-18 season but after hiring Trotz - who steered the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup past year - the team allowed a NHL-best 196 goals this season.

The Pens had the lead for 4:41 of the entire series. His second goal (shown in the section above) was the game-winner in the third period of Game 2.

The winger became just the third player in the last seven years to score in each of his team's first four postseason games, joining the Flames' Sean Monahan in 2012 and former Sharks great Patrick Marleau in 2013.

Eberle and linemate Mat Barzal (five assists) were dominant in the series. They were the offensive studs in this series.

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