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The other side: Could the Islanders really sweep the Penguins?



About an hour ago

Are the Islanders destined for a sweep?

This is the question crossing the minds of New York after Friday night's 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins gave the islanders a 2-0 lead lead in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The best-of-seven first-round series shifts from Nassau Coliseum to PPG Paints Arena for Game 3 on Sunday.

It's been more than 30 years since the Islanders were in this position.

"Their 2-0 series Leader is their first since 1983, before any player who was dressed for them Friday night was born, "wrote Newsday columnist Neil Best.

Best wondered whether this was their last game at Nassau Coliseum this season. The Islanders are using the Long Island arena only for the first round. If they advance, all future rounds will be played at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

But he is not predicting a sweep yet.

"To be clear, that is not the way to bet, not against an opponent this formidable, "wrote Best. "But the very fact that such a thing can be pondered illustrates the latest improbable turn in an improbable season."

The style of play – chippy all – at times felt more A New York Post sportswriter Brett Cyrgall wrote New York Post sportswriter Brett Cyrgall, with "the little cross-checks, the grabbing of jerseys, the face-washes that define the passion of the post-season".

The Penguins Delivered More physical game, but that became counterproductive, wrote Newday sportswriter Andrew Gross.

"The Penguins made it clear from the opening faceoff they wanted to match the Islanders' physical play from Game 1, except that it led to three power-play chances for


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• Kevin Gorman: Penguins should not panic, but they need to show some urgency
] • Penguins falter late as Islanders take 2-0 series lead
• Penguins Evgeni Malkin takes responsibility, vows improvement after loss


Mathew Barzal caused a melee and drew a double-minor penalty himself for roughing Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson in the second period. Barzal saw the play differently.

"I probably overreacted a bit," said Barzal, '' Barzal told Newsday's Colin Stephenson. "I saw the hit, after. The Islanders' heroes from Game 1 were back for Game 2. Josh Bailey and Jordan Eberle each For the second game in a row, Barzal added two more assists.

It was Bailey who scored the overtime winner in Game 1, and Islanders fans are singing his praises – literally.

According to Laura Albanese of Newsday, fans sing "Hey, Josh Bailey," to the tune of "Hey Baby."

This time, Bailey's third-period goal gave the islanders a room to breathe.

"I want to know how you scored that goal."

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris via Twitter .





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