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Pens Points: Same Old Mistakes

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Regular season issues continue to haunt Penguins in 4-3 overtime loss to the Islanders in Game 1. Put the loss behind you and start looking ahead in today’s Pens Points.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Sloppy puck management and missed opportunities by the Penguins highlighted a 4-3 overtime loss to the Islanders in Game 1 of their first round series. For most of the night, the Penguins were playing catch up after surrendering an early goal to Jordan Eberle. To their credit, the Penguins bounced back each time they fell behind, but it was too much to overcome in the end. Justin Schultz forced overtime with a late third period goal but Josh Bailey took advantage of a bad defensive breakdown by the Penguins to score the winner in overtime. [Pensburgh]

The Penguins will have a chance to even the series in Game 2 on Friday night.

Shake off the Game 1 loss with this morning’s Pens Points...

If you’re going to win the Stanley Cup then you’re going to need some players to step up and make key plays throughout the playoffs. For the Penguins to win their third Stanley Cup in four years, guys like Jared McCann and Dominik Simon will play a major role is making it happen. [Pensburgh]

We previewed the Islanders forwards and goaltenders leading up to the series, that leaves just the defense left to look at. While the Islanders posted some of the best defensive numbers in the NHL this season, there is reason to believe the Penguins offense will be able to create scoring opportunities. [Pensburgh]

With the playoffs here it’s time to make some predictions for how the series will turn out. There are eight series to be played in this opening round, some with a clear cut favorite and others you can classify as a toss-up. [Pensburgh]

Jared McCann is set to make his playoff debut when the Penguins face-off against the Islanders in Round 1 and he is ready to make an impact. Spurred on by his own mother’s battle with multiple sclerosis, McCann is ready to rise to the occasion. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Last season, Barry Trotz finally reached the promised land when he led the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup. Now with the Islanders, Trotz is once again hoping to reach hockey’s mountaintop. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

With Trotz on the Islanders bench and Mike Sullivan leading the Penguins, this will be a matchup of the last two coaches to win the Stanley Cup. Championship pedigree on both ends means the chess match between coaches will be something to keep a close eye on. [Trib Live]

Winning this series will not be an easy task for the Penguins, but if they do a few things right there are plenty of avenues that could open up for them to advance. If things go wrong however, they could just as easily see an early exit from the playoffs. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

There are plenty of things the Penguins can do right to win this series, but there is a flip side to that coin as well. A few moments here or there that break in the Islanders favor could be just enough to push them through to the next round. [Lighthouse Hockey]

It’s been quite the year for the Islanders and their fans, going from losing their franchise cornerstone in free agency to defying the odds and making the playoffs come April. For fans who were down on the team in training camp, this run has been one they will remember. [Lighthouse Hockey]

Playoff hockey means the intensity will be kicked up a notch from the regular season. Each game matters a little more this time of year, a fact with which the Penguins are plenty familiar with. [Trib Live]

News and notes from around the NHL...

No point in even playing these games since the real Stanley Cup champion has already been crowned courtesy of EA Sports. In their NHL 19 simulation of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning prevailed over the St. Louis Blues in seven games with Nikita Kucherov taking home the Conn Smythe. [NHL]

Now that the regular season has ended, we can look back and better evaluate the trade deadline moves and how they affected all the team involved, especially the ones who qualified for the playoffs. [Yahoo! Sports]

NHL Playoff Scoreboard

Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3

New York Islanders 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3 OT

St. Louis Blues 2, Winnipeg Jets 1

Dallas Stars 3, Nashville Predators 2

San Jose Sharks 5, Vegas Golden Knights 2