Penguins hang on for victory to break losing streak
The Pittsburgh Penguins took a 3-2 lead into the third period and kept the Islanders off the board in the final 20 minutes to secure their first victory in five games, Thursday night at Mellon Arena.
Georges Laraque's tie-breaking goal late in the second period proved to be the difference as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 saves for his first win in six games. The Islanders pressed in the third period, and earned a power play late in the final frame, but could not capitalize. The Islanders fall to 9-6-0 on the season.
"We didn't set-up well," said Bryan Berard about the power that went 0-for-2. "We squeezed our sticks too tight and we didn't get enough shots through. We were rushing too much."
The Islanders grabbed a 1-0 lead with 5:42 remaining in the first period. Brendan Witt's shot from the point deflected off Mike Comrie, then Sergei Gonchar's shin pad and past Fleury for Comrie's sixth goal of the season.
Gonchar evened the score at one with a slapshot from the point late in the first period, with the teams skating 4-on-4.
The Penguins took a 2-1 lead during a 5-on-3 power play. Petr Sykora pushed the puck over the goal line 58 seconds into the second period.
Josef Vasicek scored his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at two, 8:51 into the second period. Bruno Gervais and Sean Bergenheim earned the assists on the goal.
With 3:15 to play in the second period, Sidney Crosby set-up Laraque for a 3-2 Penguins lead and the eventual game-winner.
The Islanders get right back to work tomorrow, taking on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Georges Laraque: His first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner 2. Sergei Gonchar: Made up for deflecting in the Islanders' first goal 3. Josef Vasicek: Used his long reach to even the score at one 4. Sidney Crosby: Extended his point streak to 18 games 5. Marc-Andre Fleury: Bounced back after some poor showings recently
Stat of the Game: Mike Sillinger won 67% of his faceoffs
Slapshots:Mike Comrie and Josef Vasicek lead the Islanders with six goals…Miroslav Satan snapped his eight-game point streak…The Islanders out-hit the Penguins 21-16…Bill Guerin returned tonight after missing the last game.
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight’s game.
11 Andy Hilbert – 18 Mike Sillinger – 13 Bill Guerin
26 Ruslan Fedotenko – 89 Mike Comrie – 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim – 63 Josef Vasicek – 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon – 10 Richard Park – 28 Tim Jackman
3 Mark Eaton - 55 Sergei Gonchar
44 Brooks Orpik – 58 Kris Letang
4 Rob Scuderi – 19 Ryan Whitney
12 Ryan Malone - 87 Sidney Crosby - 17 Petr Sykora
11 Jordan Staal - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 48 Tyler Kennedy
10 Gary Roberts - 16 Erik Christensen - 18 Adam Hall
37 Jarkko Ruutu- 25 Maxime Talbot - 27 Georges Laraque
1 - 0 NYI
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 PIT
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 PIT
Interference on goalkeeper