It's a style created to frustrate opponents regardless of pedigree, one that has them on the cusp of just their second playoff series win in more than a quarter-century.
The Penguins were humbled once again by the Islanders, this time in a 4-1 decision at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday, giving NY a 3-0 series advantage.
Matt Murray finished with 32 saves for the Penguins, but Pittsburgh again struggled to generate any sort of offensive momentum against the Islanders.
The officiating in this first-round series between the Penguins and Islanders has been pretty bad thus far. Center Leo Komarov, left wing Anders Lee and center Brock Nelson also were able to beat Matthew Murray to light the lamp, as the Islanders seized a 3-0 series lead, pushing the Penguins to the brink of elimination. They've outscored Pittsburgh 11-5 through three games and have trailed for less than four minutes through nine-plus periods against a team that began the playoffs looking to capture its third Stanley Cup in four years, a dream that's all but vanished. Jordan Eberle continued his productive postseason by scoring his third goal of the series on a lovely shot following a fantastic feed from Ryan Pulock.
The 28-year-old's first-period marker represented the equalizer after the Penguins had taken an early lead.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan downplayed the idea his team was "desperate" while facing a 2-0 deficit for the first time in his highly successful tenure.
The Islanders had held serve at the Coliseum over the past week, winning a dramatic 4-3 overtime contest in Game 1 on Wednesday and a decisive 3-1 victory in Game 2 on Friday. Look for the Penguins to get a game back this afternoon.
"If we work hard and do the right things, we'll earn our bounces", Crosby said. "They're not afraid of competition".
NY secured a 3-1 victory and a 2-0 series lead over Pittsburgh Friday night with a home victory. Erik Gudbranson gave the Penguins a 1-0 advantage with 9:24 remaining in the second period with an assist given to Evgeni Malkin.