The New York Islanders dominated the Pittsburgh Penguins in every feasible way en route to a four-game sweep.
- New York Islanders 3
- Pittsburgh Penguins 1
- NYI: Jordan Eberle (4), Brock Nelson (3), Josh Bailey (3)
- PIT: Jake Guentzel (1)
- Stanley Cup Playoffs, Final, Box Score
- PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
The New York Islanders continue to make history with a four-game sweep over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Islanders fans waited 23 years for their team to win a series when they put the Florida Panthers away in 2016. Last July, it felt as if their next series victory would take another two decades.
However, much like they did during the regular season, the Islanders shattered all expectations and swept their first-round series.
It didn’t take the Islanders seven games, or six, or even five. The New York Islanders swept a postseason series for the first time since their fourth-straight Stanley Cup win in 1983.
Ask any of the Islanders in the locker room and they’ll all tell you their success stems from a team-wide buy-in. While they’re not wrong, special kudos go out to players who were able to elevate their competitiveness for the occasion.
Jordan Eberle is on FIRE #Isles pic.twitter.com/sBwv0XC678
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) April 16, 2019
These Isles don't stop grinding #Isles pic.twitter.com/azU3kVxTeO
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) April 17, 2019
Jordan Eberle scored a goal in each game this series after managing just 19 in the regular season.
Brock Nelson has never looked better with three goals in the series (and the series-clinching goal).
Mathew Barzal has five assists through four games thus far in the playoffs. His friend and occasional linemate Anthony Beauvillier has a goal and an assist. Josh Bailey netted the empty-netter and scored three goals in the four games.
Most importantly, if there was any doubt about how Robin Lehner would fare in his first-ever playoff series as a starter, fear not. After allowing three goals in the series opener, Lehner only allowed three goals for the rest of the series.
Yea. Don’t mess with Robin Lehner. #isles pic.twitter.com/dDLt2gWlMI
— noah (@noahcb_) April 17, 2019
There were bursts of action where the Penguins seemed ready to claw back into the series. Isles head coach Barry Trotz has instilled a sense of calmness and control over his team which last season couldn’t hold onto a lead if their season depended on it.
On top of putting a firm choke-hold on Sidney Crosby (one point in four games), Jake Guentzel (one goal) and most of the Penguins’ top guns (Phil Kessel with a goal and assist), the structure and matchup favored the Islanders almost immediately.
Through all four games of action, the Penguins led for fewer than five minutes of game time.
With the sweep complete, the Islanders can take a well-deserved rest before they play again. They await the winner of the Washington Capitals-Carolina Hurricane series (2-1 Capitals).
This is something for the Islanders, their fans, and all of Long Island to rejoice. For the first time in over two decades, the Islanders are a formidable postseason opponent.