They are a young and impressionable bunch, these New York Islanders. Most are taking their first dip into a best-of-seven acid bath that is the Stanley Cup playoffs, and if they had been convinced early that they should be content to make a token appearance and simply get a feel for hockey at this time of year, perhaps they would be investigating offseason travel plans today. But give them reason to believe they not only belong, but deserve to hang around for a while -- a feeling the Penguins surely have instilled in the past two games of their opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series -- and it just might happen. OK, the likelihood of that was downgraded considerably when Chris Kunitz stuck a shot behind Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov at 8:44 of overtime Sunday at Nassau Coliseum to give the Penguins a 5-4 victory and a 2-1 lead in the series, but the Penguins have done very little through three games to persuade New York it is outclassed or overmatched. Perhaps that point will be made when -- or if -- the Penguins perform to something approaching their potential, which hasn't happened for an extended stretch through the first three games. "We have to play better," defenseman Paul Martin said. "We can definitely play better." In fairness, the Penguins turned in quality work at times in Game 3. Their power play converted 3 of 5 chances, including the goal that ended the game, and their penalty-killers were 3 for 3. They showed commendable resilience by running off four unanswered goals after tumbling into a two-goal hole in the first six minutes.
Penguins beat Islanders in overtime, 5-4
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 6