Josh Bailey and Ryan Pulock scored in the second period Saturday afternoon and rookie Ilya Sorokin carried a shutout deep into the third as the host New York Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 in Game 4 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in Uniondale, N.Y.
The win evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece. Game 5 is scheduled for Monday night in Pittsburgh.
Oliver Wahlstrom and Jordan Eberle scored power-play goals 24 seconds apart in the third.
Sorokin, who drew the start after Semyon Varlamov lost Games 2 and 3, stopped the first 27 shots he faced before Zach Aston-Reese scored a short-handed goal with 2:35 left to cost Sorokin a chance to become the first rookie Islander goalie with a postseason shutout since Chico Resch in 1975. That series was also against the Penguins in Game 7 of a second-round series.
Sorokin, who also won Game 1, finished with 29 saves.
Tristan Jarry recorded 22 saves in defeat for the Penguins.
After a frantic third period in the Penguins’ 5-4 win in Thursday’s Game 3 — the teams combined for five goals and 30 penalty minutes over the last 20 minutes — the two teams played a methodical style more associated with the postseason Saturday, when they combined for 27 shots and three penalties in the first 28-plus minutes.
The Islanders snapped the tie with 11:53 left in the second. Brock Nelson fended off Sidney Crosby to the left of the Penguins’ net and passed to Bailey. New York’s longest-tenured player fired a shot off Jarry’s glove just after he was pushed into the net by Anthony Beauvillier, who was pushed by Kris Letang.
The Islanders doubled the lead with 5:09 remaining, when Jarry deflected a shot by Wahlstrom but the puck skittered to Pulock, who bore in on the faceoff circle and fired home the rebound off the skate of Cody Ceci.
Scott Mayfield was whistled for holding 4:04 into the third, but Jason Zucker (tripping) and Kris Letang (interference) headed to the penalty box within the next 71 seconds. Wahlstrom was credited with a goal when his shot glanced off the stick of Teddy Blueger just as Mayfield’s penalty expired.
With the boisterous sellout crowd of 6,800 chanting “JAR-REE,” Eberle took a feed from Barzal and added more insurance during the 5-on-3 at 6:28 of the final period.
–Field Level Media