Friday, October 28, 2016

Crosby's late goal leads Penguins past Islanders

All Marc-Andre Fleury ever wants to do is give his team a chance to stay in the game.
The Pittsburgh Penguins' goalie did that and more on Thursday against the New York Islanders.
Fleury had 31 of his 35 saves through two periods, keeping the game close and allowing Sidney Crosby to score the tiebreaking goal late in the third to lead the Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the Islanders.
"We were under a lot of pressure, we were on our heels and he made some huge saves that allowed us to keep the lead," Penguins' coach Mike Sullivan said. "He was terrific."
Fleury faced just five shots in the third period while starting for the eighth straight game. Fleury won for the 19th time in his last 24 home starts and has given up two or fewer goals in five of the first six home games.
"I know the guys are trying hard," Fleury said. "I'm just trying to keep the score close and keep them ahead."
Patric HornqvistEvgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel also scored - each getting his third of the season - to help the defending champion Penguins win for the third time in four games and improve to 5-0-1 at home.
Crosby, playing for the second straight game after missing the first six with a concussion, scored with 2:25 left as he caught a pass from Scott Wilson at the top of the crease and quickly turned to his forehand to put the puck behind Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Crosby, who also scored in his season debut on Tuesday, now has points in 10 straight regular season games dating back to last season.
Kessel added a power-play goal to cap the scoring 32 seconds later.
Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince scored for the Islanders, who fell to 0-3-0 on the road. Halak finished with 31 saves.
Malkin broke a 1-1 tie with 7:12 left in the third as he took a pass from Kessel and pulled up ahead of Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg before placing a shot between Halak's pads.
Prince, playing for the first time after missing five games with a lower-body injury, tied it again with 4:22 remaining. Fleury left the net to play a shot into the zone but the puck caromed off the boards to Prince, who put it into an empty net.
"I felt bad because I shouldn't have come out of the net," Fleury said. "If I would've stayed in the net, we would've been fine. I was happy to see Sid bury that one."
Pittsburgh won three of four against the Islanders last season, the eighth time in nine years the Penguins won the season series. The Islanders played the second half of a back-to-back after falling at home against Montreal on Wednesday.
"No one is going to feel sorry for us," Hamonic said. "Frustrating result the past two games, but you move forward. We have to keep going. That's all we can do."
Hornqvist opened the scoring with a power-play goal 46 seconds into the game. Pittsburgh has scored a power-play goal in all six home games.
Crosby, standing at the left post, set up Hornqvist on the opposite side during a slick passing sequence that also involved Kessel.
Fleury kept it a one-goal game with three saves in succession on Nick Leddy's point shot, Thomas Hickey's redirection and a blocker stop on Josh Bailey. Prince later hit the post to the left of a sprawled Fleury on a breakaway.
The Islanders tied it late in the second period on their 28th shot. Hamonic finished a 2-on-1 from Prince, beating Fleury to the blocker side.
"We're giving up more shots and chances than I think we're accustomed to and (Fleury) has been there to make that timely save for us," Sullivan said. "It gives our guys a chance to grab ahold of ourselves and play the game the right way. I thought in the third period our guys responded."
NOTES: Sullivan didn't have an update on F Carl Hagelin, who left late in the third after taking a hit into the boards. .. G Matt Murray, who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in June, dressed as Fleury's backup for the second straight game since returning from a broken hand sustained in last month's World Cup of Hockey. ... Penguins' D Kris Letang missed a fourth straight game with an upper-body injury, but he participated in Thursday's morning skate and is close to a return. ... Conor Sheary (eye) missed his fourth straight game for Pittsburgh, as did Derrick Pouliot (undisclosed). ... Islanders F Nikolay Kulemin missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Eric Boulton (lower body), Ryan Pulock (lower body) and Mathew Barzalalso sat for the Islanders.
UP NEXT
Islanders: Open a five-game homestand Sunday against Toronto on Sunday.
Penguins: Begin a four-game road trip Saturday at Philadelphia. Pittsburgh's next home game is Nov. 8 against Edmonton.

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