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Islanders-Penguins regular-season series: A game-by-game review

The Islanders' Adam Pelech checks the Penguins' Bryan

The Islanders' Adam Pelech checks the Penguins' Bryan Rust during the first period of an NHL game on March 29 in Pittsburgh. Credit: AP/Keith Srakocic

The Islanders went 2-4-2 against the Penguins, their first-round playoff opponent, but six of those games were played in February.

Both teams’ rosters have changed since then. The Penguins acquired Jeff Carter from the Kings to bolster their forward depth — he had nine goals in 14 games since the trade — while the Islanders acquired Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the Devils with Anders Lee lost to a season-ending knee injury.

Here’s a game-by-game look:

Feb. 6 – Islanders 4-3 at Nassau Coliseum: Jordan Eberle scored twice and Lee scored the power-play winner at 17:16 to complete a third-period rally. Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves to Tristan Jarry’s 22.

Feb. 11 – Penguins 4-3 SO at Nassau Coliseum: Evgeny Malkin tied it at 19:42 of the third period against Varlamov (32 saves) and Sidney Crosby scored the lone goal in the shootout in a chippy game. Casey DeSmith made 26 saves.

Feb. 18 – Penguins 4-1 at Pittsburgh: DeSmith made 31 saves in another chippy game featuring defenseman Mike Matheson’s hard cross-check to Mathew Barzal. The Penguins led 3-0 in the third period before Brock Nelson scored. Varlamov stopped 33 shots.

Feb. 20 – Penguins 3-2 at Pittsburgh: The Islanders could not hold a 2-1 lead in the third period and defenseman Kris Letang’s second goal was the winner at 13:34. Varlamov stopped just 15 shots while Jarry made 33 saves.

Feb. 27 – Penguins 4-3 OT at Nassau Coliseum: Letang scored twice, including the winner at 4:34 of overtime, and the Islanders could not hold 2-0 and 3-2 second-period leads. Varlamov made 27 saves while Jarry made 24.

Feb. 28 – Islanders 2-0 at Nassau Coliseum: Oliver Wahlstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored power-play goals and Ilya Sorokin made 20 saves for his second straight shutout. DeSmith stopped 28 shots.

March 27 – Penguins 6-3 at Pittsburgh: Bryan Rust scored twice as the Penguins built a 5-0 lead in the second period and completed his hat trick with an empty-netter. Sorokin was pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots and Jarry made 29 saves.

March 29 – Penguins 2-1 at Pittsburgh: The Penguins scored twice in the first period and held on as Varlamov made 20 saves. Jarry was forced to exit after the first period and DeSmith stopped 19 of 20 shots.

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