Penguins vs. Islanders Game 2: Sidney Crosby scores twice in wild first period

USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders were hoping Game 2 would start differently from Game 1. It did not.

Reeling from a 5-0 loss in Game 1, the New York Islanders mixed up their lines and came out checking on the first shift of Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Then they gave up a goal.

Just 43 seconds in and at the end of the first shift of the game, the Islanders lost a battle in front of the net and Evgeni Malkin popped a bouncing rebound past Evgeni Nabokov.

Pensgoal_medium

In Game 1, the Islanders were hurt by an early penalty. At least they wouldn't do that again, right?

Wrong. Andrew MacDonald took a slashing penalty at 2:23, and within a minute Sidney Crosby had his first goal of the playoffs.

The Islanders got one back on a power play of their own, with John Tavares feeding Matt Moulson for a sweep across the crease that deflected in as Brad Boyes battled with Paul Martin.

But consistent with how this series has gone, the Penguins scored just 18 seconds later, Crosby getting his second to make it 3-1. Wearing a special jaw shield, Crosby was playing for the first time in a month thanks to a broken jaw he suffered against the Islanders. His goals were gimmes, but signaled he is back.

As NBC Sports' Pierre McGuire pointed out multiple times during the first period, the Islanders were actually pushing back, outshooting the Penguins 20-12 in what ended up being a wild period. The Isles even forced a timeout from Penguins coach Dan Bylsma after consecutive icings with 9:30 to go in the period.

But the Penguins killed that penalty and things settled down the rest of the way. They go to the first intermission a 3-1 lead.

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