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game recap

Penguins 3, Islanders 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins 3, Islanders 1
New York Islanders 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 3

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Luckily for the Pittsburgh Penguins on a night they were outplayed by the New York Islanders for some lengthy stretches, Evgeni Malkin knows what to do when the puck finds his stick.

Malkin took advantage of a couple of favorable bounces to score a goal and set up one of Chris Kunitz's two goals and the Penguins bounced back from a pair of road losses to beat the slumping Islanders 3-1 on Wednesday night.

With Kunitz scoring his first two goals since Dec. 29, the Penguins shook off a 5-4 loss Sunday to Washington in which they couldn't hold a 4-1 lead to win their seventh in a row at home against the Islanders.

New York lost its eighth in nine games as Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 37 of 38 shots - even though it was defenseman Kris Letang who made the save of the night.

With Fleury occupied at the other side of the net, Letang sprawled along the crease to stop Matt Moulson's shot in the first period. Right about then, the Islanders probably knew what kind of night it would be.

"What I liked was a lot of pucks were hitting him (Fleury) in the chest and that means he was being aggressive. He didn't have to make a lot of spectacular saves," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

Bylsma also must have liked how the puck was hopping off Malkin's stick.

"It's tough. When you have guys like (Sidney) Crosby and Malkin on the ice, those guys make things happen," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "It's pretty consistent with every shift they have. That's where their team is at now, and that's where we aspire to be."

Malkin, one of five Penguins players headed to the Olympics, repeatedly showed off some fancy stickwork - and, for a brief moment, it looked as if he might fight defenseman Freddy Meyer on a play in which both were sent off for roughing.

Late in the first period, Malkin bounced the puck off the end of his stick yo-yo-like as he tried to keep his balance while skating toward the net and managed to get off a shot, although it didn't go in. Malkin had better luck in the second period.

Malkin, who scored three goals during the Penguins' 6-4 win over the Islanders on Jan. 19, skated down the left wing boards near the midpoint of the period and threw the puck toward the middle of the ice 10 seconds after Pittsburgh killed off an Islanders power play.

Defenseman Mark Streit got his stuck on it, but the puck deflected to Kunitz for his seventh goal. Kunitz played his second game after missing 15 games with an abdominal injury.

"It was a turning point in the game," Bylsma said.

Later in the period, Malkin won a faceoff in the Islanders' zone that led to a Sergei Gonchar shot - though it may have been a pass in disguise - that was redirected by Malkin past Dwayne Roloson for his 21st goal.

Seconds before that faceoff, Roloson seemed willing to drop the gloves on a night when there were two fights and nearly a couple of more.

Roloson apparently wanted to take on forward Mike Rupp but slipped coming out of the net and lost his balance. Fleury began skating toward the other end in case Roloson was intent on fighting, but nothing occurred.

"I stayed at the blue line, and it kind of stopped," Fleury said.

The Islanders, who beat Nashville 4-3 on Tuesday, cut it to 2-1 at 9:38 of the third when Frans Nielsen put a backhander past Fleury off Bruno Gervais' backhand pass. Except for that goal, Fleury was strong throughout after giving up 13 goals in his previous three starts, including a 5-3 loss Saturday at Montreal.

"It's a shame because we had a lot of steam today and were playing well and generating a lot and it seems it's a wasted effort again," Islanders captain Doug Weight said.

Kunitz got the goal back about 5 minutes later by beating Roloson on a wrist shot from the low slot set up by Bill Guerin. Kunitz hadn't had a two-goal game since March 15 against Boston.

NOTES: The Penguins sold all tickets for their 147th consecutive sellout, but the actual turnout on a snowy night was approximately 13,500. ... Islanders No. 1 draft choice John Tavares doesn't have a goal in 12 games. ... Fleury is 5-0-1 in his last six against the Islanders. ... New York was 0 for 3 on the power play and Pittsburgh was 0 for 1. ... Fleury's last shutout was March 25.

scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
Chris Kunitz (7) ASST: Evgeni Malkin (42), Brooks Orpik (18)
1 - 0 PIT
Evgeni Malkin (21) ASST: Sergei Gonchar (27), Mark Eaton (10)
2 - 0 PIT
3rd Period
Frans Nielsen (9) ASST: Bruno Gervais (11)
2 - 1 PIT
Chris Kunitz (8) ASST: Bill Guerin (20)
3 - 1 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
Matt Martin  Fighting (maj) against  Tyler Kennedy
Tyler Kennedy  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Martin
Kris Letang  Delaying Game-Smothering puck
John Tavares  Slashing against  Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik  Interference against  Frans Nielsen
2nd Period
Brooks Orpik  Hi-sticking against  Kyle Okposo
Jordan Staal  Cross checking against  John Tavares
Freddy Meyer  Elbowing against  Evgeni Malkin
Evgeni Malkin  Roughing against  Freddy Meyer
Freddy Meyer  Roughing against  Evgeni Malkin
Mike Rupp  Roughing against  Dwayne Roloson
Dwayne Roloson  Roughing against  Mike Rupp
3rd Period
Andrew MacDonald  Slashing against  Evgeni Malkin
goalie stats
Dwayne Roloson
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 25EV: 23 - 26
PIM: 2PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .893SH: 0 - 0
Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 38TOI: 60:00
Saves: 37EV: 34 - 35
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .974SH: 0 - 0 is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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