Crosby has six point night in win
Evgeni Malkin recorded his 5th career hat trick and Sidney Crosby added 2 goals and 4 assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Islanders 6-4 Tuesday night at Mellon Arena.
Pittsburgh’s dynamic duo combined for 5 goals and 4 assists on the night as the Penguins won for the 3rd time in 4 games. Malkin has goals in consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month, while Crosby’s 6 point night was the 2nd of his career.
The big story of the night for Pittsburgh was a 4-for-7 night on the power play. Evgeni Malkin and Bill Guerin each added power play goals in the 2nd period and then the power play delivered in the third period.
Tied at 4-4 mid-way through the 3rd period, Alex Goligoski found a free lane and made a crisp pass to Malkin who fired a one-timer shot past Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson at 11:09 of the third period for the Penguins third power play goal of the game and the eventual game winner.
Malkin would add an empty goal with 30 seconds remaining for his 3rd goal of the game and the Penguins 4th power play goal.
It was Pittsburgh’s first four goal game on the power play this season and Malkin’s power play goal at 3:40 of the second period was the Penguins first 5-on-3 goal of the season as it took the Penguins 51 games to reach that mark.
Pittsburgh had good movement on their power play units and Evgeni Malkin was shooting the puck with confidence for one of the rare times of late.
Dan Bylsma talked after the game that the Penguins have made some changes to their approach to give the opposition some different looks. He pointed out Billy Guerin’s power play goal where Crosby was a presence in slot.
Bylsma was also pleased with how the Penguins responded in the third period and how the Penguins were attacking on the power play.
Goaltender Brent Johnson made 31 saves to record his 6th win of the season. Johnson was strong in the net early on and made two breakaway saves against Islanders forward Kyle Okposo, including stopping Okposo on a penalty shot.
Andy Sutton (4), Freddy Meyer (1), Trent Hunter (9) and Richard Park all scored for New York.
Pittsburgh held a 4-1 lead in the 2nd period but the Islanders scored three unanswered goals to tie the game at 4-4 in the 3rd period. Sidney Crosby indicated after the game that the Penguins never lost momentum.
The Islanders were 0-for-3 on the power play and Pittsburgh was aggressive on the penalty kill and rarely let the Islanders manage the puck and get into the zone safely.
Pittsburgh concludes their two game homestand Thursday night against the Washington Capitals.
*Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Mike Yeo returned to the bench for the first time since January 2nd. Yeo has been sidelined with blood pressure related issues.
*Evgeni Malkin recorded his 350th career point tonight.
*Martin Skoula was a healthy scratch for the 6th straight game. Marc Andre Fleury (fractured finger) did not dress and will not play Thursday night.
*Sidney Crosby scored goals 31, 32, and is tied with Patrick Marleau for the league lead in goals.
*There was no update from head coach Dan Bylsma or team officials on the status of Pascal Dupuis. Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton delivered a vicious hit-from-behind on Dupuis near the end of the game.
Dupuis went head-first into the boards and suffered a major gash over his right eye but the main concern after the game was the impact of his head hitting the boards.
Andy Sutton was very apologetic after the game. “I feel awful, ” Sutton said. “I’ve played with Pascal. I’ve known him a long time. I obvioulsy never intended for that happen.”