NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at NY Islanders
(Wednesday, November 26th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, NY Islanders 3
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Evgeni Malkin scored a pair of goals in a span of 50 seconds to turn a Pittsburgh deficit into a lead, as the Penguins tallied four times in the third period to rally for a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Malkin added an empty-netter to complete the natural hat trick and also assisted on Sidney Crosby's goal to start the third-period barrage. Crosby added assists on Malkin's first two goals for the Penguins, who bounced back from a 3-1 loss to Vancouver on Saturday to improve to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Brooks Orpik picked up a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which trailed 3-0.
"We've proven that we can come back," said Crosby. "You don't want to get into those scenarios often, as the season goes on, you can't let that happen. But knowing you have the character and capability of doing it, that's something you can be confident about."
Penguins goaltender John Curry earned the win in his NHL debut, stopping all 11 shots he faced after taking over for Dany Sabourin midway through the second period. Sabourin, who entered the game with a 1.66 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage, was yanked after surrendering three goals on 14 shots.
Trent Hunter scored a goal and assisted on another for the Islanders, who had a two-game win streak snapped and lost for only the second time in their last seven games. Doug Weight and Bill Guerin also scored, while Joey MacDonald made 25 saves in defeat.
"We became tired because we spent too much time in our zone," commented Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. "It wasn't a question of getting fatigued from forechecking. It was getting fatigued because we were doing the wrong things that led us to have to work in the wrong areas."
The Penguins trailed 3-0, but Orpik's second goal of the season in the final minute of the second period made it a two-goal game and Pittsburgh carried the momentum into the third.
Crosby pulled the Pens within one at the 6:18 mark. He was left alone at the right side of the cage, took Malkin's left-circle feed and swept a shot past the outstretched glove of MacDonald for his eighth goal of the season.
The Penguins, thanks to Crosby and Malkin, then scored twice within a minute to take the lead.
On the tying goal, Crosby skated the puck into the New York zone and pulled up at the left point. He was watched by three Islander defenders and simply slid a pass to an onrushing Malkin, who snapped a wrister past MacDonald from the slot.
New York defenseman Andy Sutton then overskated the puck as he was coming out from behind his own net and Crosby was there to collect the disc. He quickly fired a pass into the slot for Malkin, who beat MacDonald through the five- hole with 8:07 remaining.
The Islanders pulled MacDonald in the final minute and Malkin scored into the empty cage for his 10th goal of the season and his third career hat trick.
"They brought their game to another level," said Penguins head coach Michel Therrien said about Malkin and Crosby. "They knew the game was on the line. As far as I'm concerned, this is leadership. Definitely, they took charge of the game."
New York withstood an early barrage of shots on a Pittsburgh power play after Weight was whistled off for slashing just 1:18 into the game, then scored twice in a span of just 70 seconds in the opening period to grab a 2-0 edge.
Weight was credited with the first goal at the 7:45 mark, moments after a two- man advantage expired. He took a cross-crease pass from Hunter and his shot from the right side of the crease hit the post before going under the pads of Sabourin. The puck also hit the stick of Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi before deflecting off Sabourin's skates and trickling into the net.
Hunter then scored his ninth of the season just 1:10 later, as he made his way past Kris Letang in the slot and backhanded a shot past Sabourin.
The Islanders grabbed a 3-0 lead on a power-play goal by Guerin midway through the second period. He took a feed from Joshua Bailey and fired a shot from the center point that knuckled over the left shoulder of Sabourin, who was lifted after the goal.
"Sabourin has to learn not to give up the bad goal," Therrien stated. "He's been playing solid, but he's had a tendency to give up unlucky goals. Unlucky goals are bad goals. In this league, that can't happen."
MacDonald, moments after a Pittsburgh shot rang off the post, stopped Jordan Staal on a breakaway, but the Penguins were able to score just before the end of the second.
Orpik ripped a shot from the center point that made it through a maze of sticks, but the puck deflected off the skate of Weight in front and went through MacDonald's legs with just 18.7 seconds remaining.
Malkin leads the NHL with 35 points. His last hat trick came January 14, 2008 against the New York Rangers...Weight has a seven-game point streak with two goals and seven assists in that span...Bailey finished with two assists and has five in his first eight NHL games...Mark Streit also notched a pair of assists in defeat...The Penguins posted a 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders in the first meeting of the season on November 8, also rallying from a 3-1 deficit in the third period.
11/26 23:34:15 ET