NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Pittsburgh
(Wednesday, February 25th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 1, NY Islanders 0
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Petr Sykora scored the game's only goal with 2:28 left in regulation and Marc-Andre Fleury had his third shutout this season behind 21 saves, as Pittsburgh handed the road-challenged New York Islanders a 1-0 defeat at Mellon Arena.
It was Fleury's 14th career shutout and Sykora's 23rd goal this season for Pittsburgh, which entered this season as the reigning Eastern Conference champions. The Penguins have won three of their last four, but are currently still out of a playoff spot, having won only three of nine before the current stretch.
The Penguins played without captain Sidney Crosby, who suffered a groin injury in Sunday's loss to the Washington Capitals and is considered day-to- day. He practiced with the club over the previous two days, but left Tuesday's session early and then left an optional morning skate early Wednesday before declaring himself out.
Pittsburgh has won six of its last seven as the host and moved to 17-12-2 at Mellon Arena this year. The Pens, however, need to figure out a way to win on the road, as they start a five-game trip Friday in Chicago.
"I think we spent a lot of time in their zone, creating scoring chances," said Sykora. "We stayed patient. Our power play had a couple of chances, didn't score, but being patient we got the only goal."
Yann Danis nearly equaled Fleury's effort, stopping 27-of-28 shots but took the tough loss, New York's eighth loss in the last 10.
The Islanders lost their sixth straight on the road and have dropped an amazing 20 of the last 21 as the guest. They are just 6-23-2 as the road team this year and begin a six-game homestand Thursday against Toronto.
After neither team could solve the opposing netminder for nearly 57-plus minutes, Pittsburgh's Sergei Gonchar gathered a loose puck at the right circle and fired into a goal-mouth littered with bodies. Ruslan Fedotenko ran interference on a defender and the puck dropped down at the left side of the net, where Sykora swatted it into an open net.
"An unlucky bounce," said Danis. "You kind of knew that was the goal that was going to determine the game. It's unfortunate."
New York pulled Danis with 1:18 left but the Penguins held on for the win.
Pittsburgh had won four straight over New York, including the first three meetings this year, prior to the Islanders' 3-2 shootout win at home on February 16. The Penguins have still won seven of the last nine overall in the series and seven of the last eight as the host.
02/26 01:23:54 ET