Jordan Eberle scored for the third straight game, Robin Lehner stopped 25 shots, and the visiting Islanders rolled to a 4-1 victory against the stunned Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday to take a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference series.
Brock Nelson added his second goal of the playoffs and Leo Komarov scored the first postseason goal of his career for the Islanders, and Anders Lee had an empty-net goal.
Garrett Wilson scored Pittsburgh’s goal, a first-period deflection past Lehner that gave the Penguins their second lead of the series. Eberle tied it 28 seconds later, and Nelson’s wrist shot put the Islanders in front to stay just 1 minute 2 seconds after Eberle’s third goal in the series.
“Playoffs are all about momentum,” Eberle said. “When you can take some team’s momentum away and just continue to build yours, it’s key.
Matt Murray finished with 32 saves for the Penguins, but Pittsburgh again struggled to generate offense. The Islanders, who allowed an N.H.L.-low 196 goals during the regular season, has surrendered just five in this series.
The Penguins have not been swept since the 2013 East finals against Boston.
Pittsburgh Coach Mike Sullivan played down the idea that his team was desperate while facing a 2-0 deficit for the first time in his successful tenure. He still opted to tinker with his lines, elevating Dominik Simon to the top line alongside Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel and putting Jared McCann — who sat out Game 2 with a lower-body injury — on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel.
But Crosby and Guentzel were held without a point for the third straight game.
“You’ve got to find ways to score goals this time of year,” Crosby said, adding, “Obviously, we haven’t done a good job of it through the first three games.”
BLUE JACKETS 3, LIGHTNING 1 Host Columbus beat Tampa Bay again in Game 3, and is now one win from eliminating the team with the best regular-season record.
Matt Duchene, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Cam Atkinson scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky fended off a desperate third-period charge to finish with 30 saves for the Blue Jackets, who can win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history on Tuesday night.
JETS 6, BLUES 3 Kyle Connor scored twice, Patrik Laine had a goal and an assist, and Winnipeg won at St. Louis after losing twice at home.
U.S. WOMEN WIN TITLE Alex Rigsby stopped four of five shots in the shootout and the United States beat host Finland, 2-1, to win its fifth consecutive gold medal at the women’s world championship in Espoo after a goaltender interference review nullified what would have been a winning overtime goal for the Finns.
Finland celebrated after Petra Nieminen scored on a rebound 11:33 into overtime, but the officials spent more than 10 minutes reviewing the play before disallowing the goal. The United States killed off two Finland power plays to get to a shootout.
Amanda Kessel and Annie Pankowski scored in the shootout against Noora Raty, who made 50 saves in regulation and overtime. Pankowski scored the Americans’ only goal in regulation in the second period, and Susanna Tapani answered 1:43 later for Finland.
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