Eberle, Islanders put Penguins on brink of elimination

Jordan Eberle scored his third goal in as many games Sunday as the New York Islanders took a commanding lead in their first-round playoff series with a 4-1 win over the host Pittsburgh Penguins.

Brock Nelson, Leo Komarov and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders, who took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. New York spotted Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead before netting four unanswered goals.

The Penguins, who won the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017, continued to be thwarted by the Islanders’ stifling pressure and the play of goaltender Robin Lehner, who made 25 saves Sunday.

Garrett Wilson scored for Pittsburgh, which has gotten no points in the series from Sidney Crosby — who had 100 points in the regular season — or his linemate, 40-goal scorer Jake Guentzel.

Goaltender Matt Murray stopped 32 New York shots.

The Islanders hold an 11-5 goals edge in the series.

Pittsburgh took a short-lived lead at 12:54 of the first period. Just after a Penguins power play expired, Marcus Pettersson launched a shot from the left point. Wilson, part of a crowd in front of the crease, reached out to chop the puck down past Lehner to make it 1-0 for his first career playoff goal.

Eberle tied it 28 seconds later. From a sharp angle near the bottom of the left circle, he threaded a shot behind Murray.

Nelson gave New York a 2-1 lead 1:02 after Eberle’s goal. As Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schultz pinched in along the left-wing boards, Nelson forced Crosby to turn the puck over, leading to a New York two-on-one. Nelson kept the puck and, from the right circle, beat Murray far side.

Pittsburgh’s top line got a three-on-one in the waning seconds of the first, but Guentzel’s pass to set up Dominik Simon near the left post was in Simon’s skates, and he did not get off a clean shot.

Komarov gave New York a 3-1 lead at 10:27 of the third. Anthony Beauvillier corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone and got it to Valtteri Filppula. He fed Komarov, who beat Murray short side from the right circle.

Lee added an empty-netter with 1:28 remaining.

–Field Level Media