PITTSBURGH 4, ISLANDERS 3
Sergei Gonchar scored the game-winner in overtime while on the power play to give the Penguins a 4-3 win over the Islanders Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum. Alexei Yashin picked up a goal and two assists in the loss, while Sidney Crosby tallied three assists and Evgeni Malkin posted a goal and an assist in his second NHL game. The Islanders have now earned points in four consecutive games.
The Penguins capitalized on their third power play of the first period to take a 1-0 lead. Michel Ouellet scored his third goal of the season when he picked up a loose puck off a scramble in front and flipped it over Mike Dunham. Malkin and Crosby earned the assists at 9:24 of the period.
Playing in his fourth straight game, Dunham was once again strong in net, stopping 14 of 15 first period shots. Marc-Andre Fleury made ten saves to keep the Islanders off the scoreboard in the first.
In the second period, the Penguins once again struck on the power play. Nils Ekman got his first of the season off a wrist shot from the slot with Malkin screening Dunham for a 2-0 Penguins lead 4:55 into the second period.
After the Penguins' second goal, it was all Islanders, who scored three unanswered goals in the span of 2:27.
With 4:17 remaining in the second period, Yashin got the Islanders on the board with his third of the season. Alexei Zhitnik fed it to the right wing to Viktor Kozlov, who proceeded to draw two Penguins to him before he slid it back to the left wing to Yashin for an easy one-timer into the empty side to cut the lead to 2-1.
It was all tied up at two when the Islanders took advantage on the power play after the Penguins were called for too many men on the ice. Yashin found Mike Sillinger, whose shot deflected off of Fleury's glove before trickling over the line with 2:37 left in the second period.
The Islanders went right back on the power play less than a minute later and Jason Blake converted just 1:09 after Sillinger. Blake banged home a rebound to make it 3-2 Islanders. Yashin earned his third point of the game and Miroslav Satan got the other assist.
The Penguins evened the score when Crosby, while behind the net, kicked the puck to his stick and then deflected it in front to Malkin who pushed it by Dunham at 8:08 of the third period.
For the rest of the period it was all goaltending as the teams ended regulation tied at three with the Islanders out shooting the Penguins 35-30.
In the overtime session, while on the power play, Ryan Whitney fed a cross-ice pass to Gonchar, who one-timed just inside the left post to give the Penguins the victory.
Jason Blake: "We had a 3-2 lead going into the third period and then they got a quick one. We had a power play chance at the end of the period and we couldn't capitalize. They always have a chance to hurt you on the power play, and they did. We match up well against anyone at even strength, we just have to learn how to stay out of the box."
Alexei Yashin: "We started a little slow in the first period, but came back in the second. The third period was wide open. We both had chances in the third. Unfortunately, they scored one in the third and then in overtime. We played well in the second, so hopefully we can build some confidence from that."
Stars of the Game:
1. Alexei Yashin: His first three point game of the season with a goal and two assists.
2. Sidney Crosby: Three assists.
3. Sergei Gonchar: Game-winner and an assist.
4. Mike Sillinger: Scored Islanders second goal and won 16 of 22 faceoffs.
5. Evgeni Malkin: One goal and one assist.
Stat of the Game: The Islanders out hit the Penguins 25-7.
Fan of the Game: Kevin Keenan moved to Long Island in 1972, and has been a fan of the Islanders ever since. "I™ve been a loyal Islanders fan for over 30 years now. I like the fact that they're good for the community." He remembers his Islanders favorite game as the October 26, 7-0 win over Los Angeles on his Birthday. He named Mike Bossy and Alexei Yashin as his favorite Islanders.
Game Operations: Two of the most diehard Islanders fans participated in the first period intermission event tonight. Julie Matczak and Rich Coursey from Erie, Pennsylvania traveled over 460 miles to get married on the Nassau Coliseum ice. Rich, a long-time Islanders fan has two Islanders tattoos and said it's been his dream to get married at the Coliseum. Julie sported a Campoli jersey and Rich a DiPietro jersey. Sparky took part in the ceremony as the Ring Bearer while the Ice Girls filled-in as the "Stick Girls." The ceremony was resided over by Father Bob Allmen.
Slapshots: Andy Hilbert ended the season with the Penguins last year, while Richard Park played for the Penguins from 1995-1997¦Chris Campoli (groin) and Joel Bouchard (hamstring) were tonight's scratches Pittsburgh's defenseman Rob Scuderi hails from Syosset, NY¦Sillinger has scored in all three home games this season Tonight's attendance was 10,258¦Including last season, these teams have now gone into overtime six out of the past nine meetings.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
6 Sean Hill - 32 Brendan Witt
24 Radek Martinek - 77 Alexei Zhitnik
8 Bruno Gervais - 3 Tom Poti
55 Jason Blake - 79 Alexei Yashin - 25 Viktor Kozlov
7 Trent Hunter - 16 Mike York - 81 Miroslav Satan
17 Shawn Bates - 18 Mike Sillinger - 10 Richard Park
12 Chris Simon - 11 Andy Hilbert - 45 Arron Asham
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
41 Jocelyn Thibault
2 Josef Melichar - 19 Ryan Whitney
5 Rob Scuderi - 58 Kristopher Letang
3 Mark Eaton - 55 Sergei Gonchar
12 Ryan Malone - 87 Sidney Crosby - 20 Colby Armstrong
28 Nils Ekman - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 8 Mark Recchi
10 John LeClair - 18 Dominic Moore - 7 Michel Ouellet
17 Karl Stewart - 11 Jordan Staal - 37 Jarkko Ruutu