Overall, the Islanders played a fairly strong game. They were 18 seconds away from securing a win, before Evgeni Malkin managed to tie the game with a shot from the perimeter, which found its way through traffic and in. Overtime didn’t solve anything, so the game went to a shootout, where Casey DeSmith and Sidney Crosby came up big for the Penguins.
The Islanders got the bulk of quality chances and were managing to get odd-man rushes. At times, New York’s top forwards were also able to pick apart Pittsburgh’s defense on 1-on-1s and on the forecheck, especially Pierre Olivier-Joseph and John Marino. Defensively, the Islanders gave up some chances but were still getting more quality chances than they were giving up.
The fourth line has also continued to impress for the Islanders. Casey Cizikas remains maybe the best fourth-line center in the league, while both Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin have been really involved and have been able to sustain pressure in the offensive zone.
Despite the loss, it wasn’t a bad game for the Islanders. They may have given up the late goal but were still the better team overall.
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Are you impressed with how the fourth line has performed so far this season?