Penguins notebook: Garrett Wilson’s ‘greasy’ goal a bright spot
In one sense, the fact Garrett Wilson scored the team’s lone goal in Game 3 against the New York Islanders on Sunday is a bad sign for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Couple that with Erik Gudbranson being the only scorer in a 3-1 loss in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series, and the Penguins have gone two full games without getting a goal from someone on their roster who usually specializes in such tasks.
In another sense, though, the goals by Wilson and Gudbranson give the Penguins a blueprint to follow as they make a last-gasp attempt to get into the series in Game 4.
Wilson’s goal was a tip. Gudbranson’s came on a screen. In the absence of that type of play, Islanders goalie Robin Lehner is very difficult to beat.
“He’s a big goalie. He takes away a lot of the lower part of the net,” Wilson said. “They’ve got a lot of guys that are blocking shots. They defend well. They defend hard. We’ve just got to find a way to get the greasy goals.”
After three seasons and two Stanley Cup championships, Tom Kuhnhackl knows plenty about his former Penguins teammates and what they had planned for Game 3.
“We obviously knew they were going to come out hard,” Kuhnhackl said. “They were going to push the first 10 minutes of the game, which they did. They scored that goal, but we stuck to our gameplan. We have to make them play a 200-foot game, play physical, finish our hits on them.”
Winter is coming
Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck knows Game 4 against the Penguins won’t be easy even with a 3-0 lead, but he planned to relax Sunday night.
“We’re just going to try and go back to the hotel and maybe catch the ‘Game of Thrones’ premiere tonight,” he said, “and we’ll think about Tuesday (on Monday) morning.”
The Penguins made one last-minute lineup change for Game 3. Jared McCann, who missed Game 2 with an upper-body injury, was inserted for Teddy Blueger just before faceoff. McCann had two shots in about 14 minutes of ice time.