PITTSBURGH 5, ISLANDERS 2
By Jason Lockhart
Sidney Crosby and Erik Christensen each scored two goals to help lead the Pittsburgh Penguins past the Islanders 5-2, Tuesday night at the Mellon Arena.
The teams were tied after two periods, but the Penguins scored three goals in the third, while Marc-Andre Fleury shut the door for Pittsburgh, stopping 31 of 33 shots for his 19th win of the season.
Christensen scored his eight goal of the season, 2:32 into the first period to put the Penguins up 1-0. Maxime Talbot centered the puck from the corner to a streaking Christensen, who came in on goal and beat Mike Dunham with a backhand deke.
Brendan Witt ruffled the Penguins' feathers with a textbook, open-ice hit on Crosby in the first period. Ryan Whitney and Ryan Malone came to Crosby's rescue and jumped Witt. The scrum resulted in a four-minute power play for the Islanders, but they could not convert.
On two separate occasions, during the second period, the Islanders successfully killed off 5-on-3 power plays. In the process they scored a goal of their own when Richard Park tied the game at one on a magnificent goal. Park raced after a loose puck at center ice and beat Fleury on the far side less than two minutes into the second period.
The Penguins made it 2-1 on the power play with 8:25 left in the second period. Michel Ouellet gathered a rebound and scored in the slot after a scramble in front of the net.
With 2:16 remaining in the second period, the Islanders tied the game at two. Chris Simon centered the puck to Arron Asham, who one-timed it past Fleury for his seventh goal of the season.
Three straight goals by the Penguins in the third period, starting with Crosby's goal, 3:28 into the frame, put the game out of reach. Christensen added his second of the game to make it 4-2, and Crosby scored his second of the period for a 5-2 game.
The Islanders next travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Thursday evening.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Erik Christensen: Two goals and one assist
2. Richard Park: Gritty penalty killing was rewarded with a shorthanded goal
3. Sidney Crosby: Two goals in the third period
4. Bruno Gervais: One assist and two good defensive stops on odd-man rushes
5. Marc-Andre Fleury: Made 31 saves for the win
Stat of the Game: The Islanders scored a shorthanded goal, but failed to convert on eight power play chances
Slapshots: Benoit Hogue was the last Islander to score a 3-on-5 shorthanded goal back on March 9, 1993, against the Philadelphia Flyers...Richard Park's tally was the Islander's third shorthanded goal of the season...Chris Campoli (healthy) was the only Islanders scratch....Radek Martinek made an earlier than an expected return to the lineup, logging 17:51 of ice time.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
32 Brendan Witt 24 Radek Martinek
6 Sean Hill - 44 Freddy Meyer
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
27 Randy Robitaille - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 81 Miroslav Satan
10 Richard Park - 17 Shawn Bates - 45 Arron Asham
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
41 Jocelyn Thibault
55 Sergei Gonchar 5 Rob Scuderi
19 Ryan Whitney - 44 Brooks Orpik
4 Noah Welch - 32 Alain Nasreddine
8 Mark Recchi - 87 Sidney Crosby - 12 Ryan Malone
11 Jordan Staal - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 8 Michel Ouellet
20 Colby Armstrong - 16 Erik Christensen - 25 Maxime Talbot
37 Jarkko Ruutu - 18 Dominic Moore - 22 Chris Thorburn