Pittsburgh Penguins Take Down New York Islanders With Special Teams


The Pittsburgh Penguins got a pair of power play goals 55 seconds apart in the second period on Saturday night and that was enough to hand the New York Islanders their first loss of the season 3-1.

The Black and Gold improved its record to 3-1-0 as they prevented the Isles (4-1-0) from reaching five straight victories, which would have been a franchise record to start the season.

Evgeni Malkin beat Isles’ goaltender Jaroslav Halak on a two-man advantage with a wrister over Halak’s right shoulder with 6:11 left in the second period, tying the game at 1.

Less than a minute later, Malkin sent a slap shot from the point that was tipped by Patric Hornqvist, who was in front of the net, past Halak to give the Penguins their first lead. Pittsburgh paces the NHL with eight goals on 17 power-play opportunities, good for a conversion rate of 47 percent.

Late in the third period, Hornqvist, who led the team with 12 shots, added an empty-net score with just 1:20 left on the clock to seal the deal.

Sidney Crosby contributed two assists on the evening, and has 500 for his career. The captain became the third Penguin to reach this team milestone as he joins Mario Lemieux with 1,033 assists, and Jaromir Jagr with 640 in the record book.

Marc-Andre Fleury was on his game as he stopped 34 of 35 shots and finished the contest with a .971 save percentage.

More from Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens had their penalty-kill unit firing on all cylinders as they shut down all seven of the Isles power plays. Pittsburgh also led on the score sheet in blocked shots with 17 and outshot its opponent 38-35.

New York’s Thomas Hickey put the Islanders ahead 1-0 at 5:46 into the first when center Ryan Strome found the trailing defenseman, setting him up for a wrist shot over Fleury’s shoulder.

Halak turned away 35 of 37 shots for a .946 save percentage. New York’s Johnny Boychuk led the attack with six shots on Fleury while Kyle Okposo contributed five.

The Black and Gold will wrap up its three-game home stand at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22 against cross-state rival, the Philadelphia Flyers (1-2-2). The game will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network, and can be heard locally on the radio on 105.9 The X with Mike Lange and Phil Bourque.

From The Clipboard: Attendance at CONSOL Energy Center was 18,655…Scratches for the Pens on Saturday were Andrew Ebbett, Robert Bortuzzo, and Scott Harrington…Right wing Pascal Dupuis played after leaving the ice on a stretcher on Thursday against Dallas.