The New York Islanders are in position to usher Pittsburgh out of the playoffs with barely a squeak from the Penguins.
The Islanders can complete a four-game sweep in their first-round playoff series with a win Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.
It that's a surprise -- Pittsburgh was widely picked to win the series despite finishing one spot and three points behind the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division -- it shouldn't be, argued New York goaltender Robin Lehner.
"We got 103 points in the standings," said Lehner, who has a 1.62 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage through three games. "The truth can't be a surprise. Everyone looks and compares players and all that stuff. I look at our roster and see a really good organization and great coaching and great defensemen and a lot of heart. No one should be surprised."
The Penguins have held a lead for just 3:17 in the series and have not scored consecutive goals.
"That's been the story line the last two games," said Jordan Eberle, who has three goals in three games for the Islanders. "They've scored, and we've come back. Playoffs are all about momentum."
They also are about strategy, and New York has found a successful one.
Between the play of Lehner and a scheme orchestrated by coach Barry Trotz that puts the Islanders in spots to disrupt the Penguins at every turn, they have outscored Pittsburgh 11-5 and have forced mistakes and turnovers.
They have held Pittsburgh team captain and 100-point scorer Sidney Crosby, as well as his linemate and 40-goal scorer Jake Guentzel, without a point.
"The strategy is to stop everyone. There isn't any focus on one particular guy," Trotz said. "I think when you're on the ice against anybody in the league, you take care of your business. I think we've been doing that." >> Read More
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