The Islanders took a commanding 3-0 series lead in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday following a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh. >> Box score
Six Takeaways from Sunday's game
1. The 3-0 series lead guarantees little, but it's certainly a comfortable spot to be in for the Isles. Only four NHL teams have overcome a 3-0 deficit in Stanley Cup Playoffs history. The most recent team to accomplish the feat were the Kings during the first round in 2014, and Los Angeles went on to defeat the Ranger in the Stanley Cup that year.
2. After notching a goal and assist in each of the first two games -- coming in front of a raucous home crowd at NYCB Live Nassau Coliseum, where the series will return to if Game 5 proves necessary -- Jordan Eberle scored the equalizer for the Islanders nearly 30 seconds after Garrett Wilson netted the first tally of the game for the Penguins. Eberle's emergence this postseason has been a boon for the team.
3. Following Eberle's tying goal, 62 seconds lapsed before Brock Nelson put the Islanders ahead for good with his second score of the playoffs. During the regular season, Nelson accumulated a career-high 53 points. He's matched that production in the playoffs thus far and is a key reason behind the Islanders' 3-0 advantage.
4. Although most of the scoring took place over a short span in the first, Leo Komarov scored with 9:33 left to add insurance for the Islanders. However, the Islanders did squander a power play that developed into a 5-on-3 opportunity in the second, but had a key kill on an ensuing Penguins power play to hold the one-goal edge at 2-1. Anders Lee hammered home an empty-netter for the final margin.
5. A motif of the Islanders' success all year has been goalie Robin Lehner. The netminder's strong play has continued into April. On Sunday, he made 25 saves on 26 shots and remained poised as the Penguins' offense evolved into desperation mode by the time the third period arrived. With goaltending a pivotal aspect of playoff success, the Islanders have to feel good about their man between the pipes.
6. Sidney Crosby has not recorded a point yet in this series. That's not only a credit to Nelson, who has mostly matchup against the two-time MVP, but the entire team.
The series continues in Pittsburgh for Game 4 on Tuesday. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m., and the Islanders will have a chance to close out the series.