Sidney Crosby returned to the ice Friday night as the New York Islanders rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 to even the series at one. Crosby returned to his old self, scoring two quick goals to give the Penguins the lead before the Islanders stormed back.
The Penguins started off strong as Evgeni Malkin lit the lamp just 43 seconds into the contest. Crosby followed with his first taste of playoff action in 2013 as he scored on the powerplay less than three minutes later to make it 2-0 Penguins.
The Islanders cut the Penguins’ lead in half when Matt Moulson scored his first goal of the playoffs at the 12:56 mark in the first. Moulson got the puck near the crease, to the left of Marc-Andre Fleury, and he beat the Penguins’ goaltender for the Islanders first of the playoffs.
Just 18 seconds later, Crosby netted his second of the game off a rebound to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead going into the second period. The Islanders would regain momentum in the second after Kyle Okposo dropped the gloves with Matt Niskanen.
Okposo got the best of Niskanen in the bout and he landed a few right hands before the linesman jumped in. Niskanen went to the box with blood running down his face and the Penguins were never the same.
Colin McDonald scored 14 seconds after the fight to cut the Penguins’ lead to one early in the second period. Midway through the second, Matt Martin tied the game at three after the puck took a weird bounce off the boards and he tapped it in past Fleury.
The game remained tied at three until the third period when another tough bounce found it’s way through Fleury’s five-hole. Kyle Okposo, who started the Islanders’ rally with the fight in the second, capped it off with his first goal of the playoffs.
Okposo threw a shot at net that went wide to the right of Fleury. The puck carimed off the boards behind the net and shot back towards the crease before going off Fleury’s stick and into the net.
Fleury grabbed the puck and threw it down the ice in disgust as the Islanders stole Game 2 from the Penguins. The series now moves to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum all tied at one as the Islanders erased the Penguins home ice advantage with the split.
Here’s full highlights of Game 2 as the New York Islanders rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Sidney Crosby’s return. Will the Islanders go on to win the series or are the Penguins strong enough to wear them out on the road and regain control?
[Image via Michael Miller]