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Game 2 Preview: PIT @ NYI

April 12, 2019, 1:33 PM ET [252 Comments]
Ben Shelley
New York Islanders Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The New York Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 2 of their first round series tonight at Nassau Coliseum. This pre-game report will look at seven keys for an Islanders win tonight.

1- The Islanders will need to limit shots on Robin Lehner. New York gave up 44 shots in Game 1, much higher than their 30.9 per game average this year and it’ll be hugely important to give Pittsburgh’s high-powered offence as few chances as possible.

2- Speaking of Robin Lehner, he’ll need to come out just as he did in Game 1. Lehner shut down any sort of possible talk about lacking postseason experience very quickly based on his performance. That being said, the Penguins averaged the fifth most shots per game this season and Lehner is likely to see quite a bit of action again throughout the rest of the series.

3- More than just limiting shots, the Islanders will need to limit shots to key players. Sidney Crosby was held to just two shots in Game 1, while Jake Guentzel had none. At the same time, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist combined for a ridiculous 16 shots in the first game of the series. This needs to be reduced.

4- Limiting penalties will also be key. Pittsburgh’s power play ranked fifth overall in the regular season, operating at 24.6% and they were one for three in Game 1.

5- Jordan Eberle continuing on his hot streak will be a big advantage for the Islanders. He had five shots and two points in Game 1 and he now has five goals and seven points in his last six games between the regular season and playoffs. After Eberle's 2016-17 playoff run in Edmonton that saw him really struggle to produce, this is a very positive sign for the Islanders.

6- In Game 1 the Islanders were great in the faceoff circle, winning 55% of draws. Operating at this pace throughout the series would give New York a huge possession advantage.

7- The crowd was wild in Game 1 and needs to be throughout the rest of the series. With “Defence” chants on the penalty kill and just the general noise of the building from Islanders fans, you can’t help but think the atmosphere really did give the team a big advantage on home ice.

Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

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