Monday's NHL playoffs: Islanders stun Penguins in double OT, take 3-2 series lead
Pittsburgh — The New York Islanders spent the better part of four periods hanging on thanks largely to the sheer brilliance of rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin.
They needed just 51 seconds of the fifth to stun the Penguins, with a major assist from Pittsburgh netminder Tristan Jarry.
Jarry’s ill-advised clearing attempt early in the second overtime went right to New York forward Josh Bailey, who raced in to score the winner and give the Islanders a 3-2 victory in Game 5 and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“At first, I was just trying to settle (the puck) down and wanted to get a good shot off,” Bailey said. “Ultimately, I ran out of time and tried to let one go and happy to see it go in.”
New York can close out the East Division champions on Wednesday night in Long Island, a prospect that seemed improbable for long stretches of a regulation the Penguins dominated.
Sorokin, the 25-year-old Russian, is now 3-0 in the series and hardly seems rattled by the stage. Steady throughout and spectacular when the moment required, Sorokin kept Pittsburgh at bay long enough for his teammates to find a way.
“It all goes on Ilya,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We don’t have a chance if he doesn’t have an outstanding game in the first two periods, either.”
Sorokin stopped 48 shots, a franchise playoff record for a rookie goaltender, and appears to have New York’s goalie situation settled for however long the Islanders last. He started Game 1 when veteran Semyon Varlamov was unavailable, then took a seat as Varlamov took the loss in Games 2 and 3. Trotz turned to Sorokin for Game 4 and he has responded by allowing just three goals over the last seven-plus periods.
“Ilya was playing great and a real backbone for us,” Bailey said. “(He) gave us confidence we were going to get the job done.”
Anthony Beauvillier scored in the first period on a brilliant rush and Jordan Eberle beat an out-of-position Jarry midway through the third period to pull New York even. Bailey’s third — and quite possibly easiest — goal of the playoffs allowed the Islanders to take control of the series.
“As far as character, if you don’t have it, you’re not going to find a way to win,” Bailey said. “We have lots in that room.”
Evgeni Malkin scored his first postseason goal in more than two years for the Penguins. Bryan Rust added his second of the series. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby picked up assist on Rust’s tally to move past Hall of Famer Brett Hull and into seventh-place on the NHL’s career playoff scoring list.
Jarry, in his first true playoff run with the Penguins after the team traded two-time Stanley Cup winner Matt Murray last fall, finished with 25 saves but looked shaky at times and his inexcusable turnover leaves Pittsburgh in danger of going one-and-done in the playoffs for the third straight year.
The 26-year-old’s teammates came to his defense in the aftermath, pointing out they wouldn’t have won their first division title since 2014 without Jarry. True, but his iffy play in Game 1 let the Islanders get an early jump in the series and his careless outlet pass put the Penguins on the brink of elimination.
“I thought he had a heck of a game up to that point,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “He made a mistake. But he made some great saves for us throughout the course of the game as well.”
Sullivan has little choice but to stick with Jarry on Wednesday. Backup Casey DeSmith is out with an undisclosed injury, leaving third-stringer Maxime Lagace as the only other option.
“We’ll rally around (Jarry),” Sullivan said. “He’s been a really good goalie for us all year long. He’ll continue to be a good goalie for us going forward.”
► (At) Florida 4, Tampa Bay 1: Rookie Spencer Knight stopped 36 shots, Mackenzie Weegar had a goal and an assist, and the Panthers beat the Lightning in Game 5 of their Central Division playoff series.
The Lightning still lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 and host Game 6 on Wednesday night. But Knight — the third different goalie to start for Florida in this series — stymied the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
Mason Marchment and Patric Hornqvist scored for the Panthers, and Frank Vatrano added an empty-netter with 14.6 seconds left. Aleksander Barkov had a pair of assists.
Ross Colton had Tampa Bay’s goal, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 34 shots.
► Toronto 2, (at) Montreal 1: Morgan Rielly scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Jack Campbell made 28 saves and the Maple Leafs edged the Canadiens to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
William Nylander scored his third goal in as many games for Toronto, which hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004 and can go up 3-1 in Game 4 back at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
Nick Suzuki had the lone goal for Montreal, and Carey Price stopped 27 shots.
The Maple Leafs remained without captain John Tavares, who’s expected to miss at least two weeks with a concussion and knee injury suffered during a scary collision in Game 1. Nick Foligno also sat out the game with a lower-body injury.
► Minnesota 4, (at) Vegas 2: Cam Talbot made 37 saves and the Wild beat the Golden Knights despite having only 14 shots on goal to stave off elimination in their opening-round playoff series.
Jordan Greenway’s second-period goal was the winner for the Wild, who also got goals from Kirill Kaprizov, Zach Parise, and Nico Sturm.
Vegas, which was looking to close out a playoff series at home for the first time, leads the series 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Wednesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Mark Stone and Alec Martinez scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed four goals in the first four games, made 10 saves. It marked the first time Fleury allowed more than two goals in a game in 14 contests.
► (At) Winnipeg 4, Edmonton 3 (3OT): Kyle Connor scored 6:52 into the third overtime period, lifting the Jets to a first-round series sweep of the Oilers.
Mark Scheifele scored twice and Mason Appleton added a goal for the Jets, who eliminated the Oilers in the playoffs for the first time. It was the longest game in Winnipeg’s history.
Connor Hellebuyck made 37 saves for Winnipeg, which will face the winner of the other North Division series between Toronto and Montreal. The Maple Leafs took a 2-1 series lead Monday night with a 2-1 victory.
Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson scored for Edmonton, which hasn’t won a playoff series since 2017. Mike Smith stopped 39 shots for the Oilers, who won the regular-season series 7-2.