The Pittsburgh Penguins lost the second of a back-to-back meeting with the New York Islanders in Long Island. After a 4-3 OT victory on Saturday, the Pens looked for some more good luck on Sunday but came up short in a 2-0 loss. Rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin was sharp in goal for the Isles backstopping them to his second career win, and second career shutout.
Casey DeSmith got the nod in goal for the team and despite a good performance where he made big saves and kept the Pens in the game, did not get the run support necessary for the victory. Oliver Wahlstrom opened the scoring on the powerplay at 19:20 of the first period. The Isles winger unloaded a rocket one-timer from the faceoff dot, beating DeSmith over the glove, scoring the lone goal in the first.
The second period wrote the same script as the first for the Pens, who allowed a lone powerplay goal courtesy of Jean-Gabriel Pageau. His one-timer from the slot took a deflection through the legs of a sliding DeSmith to double the Isles lead in a period where they heavily dominated the Pens.
The Penguins made a late push in the third, their most encouraging period, but could not get anything past Sorokin who stood tall to hang on for the shutout. The Russian-netminder stopped all 20 shots he faced, while DeSmith stopped 28 of 30 shots faced.
Coach Mike Sullivan was visibly upset with his team’s performance, and discussed what has been going wrong for the team’s penalty-kill: “It’s a number of things. It’s just not good enough. We’ve got to be better.”
A notable Pens star who has continued to struggle to find his consistent form is Russian centerman, Evgeni Malkin. The 34-year-old was asked postgame about how he feels about his poor play, “Not good. Every game I have a chance to score, but still need work. I hope luck comes back and I get a couple goals and help the team to win. I’m not happy with my game right now but it’s coming. I feel it.”
With last night’s loss, the Penguins now sit in fifth place in the division with an overall record of 11-8-1. They will head back home to PPG Paints Arena to go head-to-head with cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night at 7 PM EST.