Jan 23, 2014, 10:36 PM EDT
It’s anyone’s guess if the New York Islanders can surge to a playoff spot this season – don’t look at Sports Club Stats, Isles fans – but Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins evoked the two teams’ high-flying 2013 playoff series. Unfortunately for John Tavares & Co, that also meant they lost, as Pittsburgh prevailed 6-4.
The Islanders charged out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Michael Grabner and Brock Nelson, but that margin lasted just a little more than three minutes, as Sidney Crosby assisted on a Chris Kunitz goal and scored one of his own. Crosby collected three points overall, expanding his league-leading total to a whopping 72 points.
Ultimately, the Penguins out-gunned the Isles in a thriller of a game, as Pittsburgh’s top guys came through. The larger stats really highlight the Penguins’ dominance (via Liam McHugh during the NBCSN telecast):
- The Penguins have taken seven straight regular season series against the Isles.
- The Pens are 28-8-2 against the Isles in the two teams’ last 38 contests.
- Pittsburgh’s been strong lately, too, with wins in four of five games.
As fun as this contest was to watch, the Islanders have a long way to make it to the playoffs once again. The Penguins highlighted that difference on Thursday.
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 19
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 19
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 14
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 8
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 23
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 37
- It doesn’t sound like 3-on-3 overtime is going to be a thing 38
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 15
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 54
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 42
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (70)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)