TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.
The Islanders are 4-2-1 against Pittsburgh this season in a wild series that has featured five ties at the end of regulation - four shootout wins by New York and one overtime victory for Pittsburgh - and a pair of contests in which the Penguins outscored the Islanders by a combined 9-1.
Robert Nilsson scored in the sixth round of a shootout and Jason Blake had two power-play goals in New York's 5-4 win Saturday, improving the Islanders to 3-0-1 in their last four games overall.
Blake, whose 28 goals and 57 points this season are career highs, also scored in the shootout, along with Shawn Bates, Alexei Yashin and Nilsson, and goaltender Rick DiPietro made 20 saves to reach 30 wins for the first time in his career.
John LeClair had two goals and an assist for the Penguins.
"Thirty is a nice number," said DiPietro, who improved to 3-0-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average in his last three starts. "I give my teammates a lot of credit for hitting that mark. But if we lost tonight, I wouldn't have slept. I don't know if I want to remember tonight."
Penguins rookie Sidney Crosby, just three points shy of becoming the youngest player in NHL history to reach 100 points, was held off the scoresheet for just the fourth time in his last 13 games, a span in which he's collected seven goals and 15 assists.
If Crosby is trying join the Winnipeg Jets' Dale Hawerchuk as the only 18-year-olds to reach 100 points in a season.
Hawerchuk was 100 days older than Crosby when he accomplished the feat in 1981-82.
"I really want to do it, but I can't afford to think about it," said Crosby, who has 38 goals and 59 assists this season, including six goals and five assists in seven games versus the Islanders. "I have two games left and if it happens, it happens."
Crosby's point total ranks second to Washington's Alexander Ovechkin among first-year players. Ovechkin has 51 goals and 103 points.
STANDINGS: Islanders - 78 points, 4th place, 22 PB, Atlantic Division. Penguins - 56 points, 5th place, 44 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Islanders - Miroslav Satan, 34 goals; Mike York, 39 assists; Yashin, 66 points; John Erskine, 156 PIM. Penguins - Crosby, 38 goals, 59 assists and 97 points; Brooks Orpik, 118 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Islanders - Power play: 17.4 percent (76 for 436), 21st in NHL. Penalty killing: 79.2 percent (372 for 470), 26th. Penguins - Power play: 19.0 percent (92 for 484), 7th. Penalty killing: 78.5 percent (408 for 520), 29th.
GOALTENDERS: Islanders - DiPietro (30-24-5, 1 SO, 3.02 GAA); Garth Snow (4-11-1, 3.68). Penguins - Marc-Andre Fleury (12-27-6, 1, 3.33); Sebastien Caron (8-8-5, 1, 3.83).
SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 4-2-1.
LAST MEETING: Saturday; Islanders, 5-4 (SO). At Uniondale, N.Y., Nilsson scored in the sixth round of the shootout and Blake had two power-play goals for the Islanders. LeClair had two goals and an assist for the Penguins.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders - 16-21-3 on the road; Penguins - 11-21-8 at home.
|Apr 17 '06||NYI 1 at PIT 6||R. Malone|
|Apr 15 '06||PIT 4 at NYI 5 - SO||R. Nilsson|
|Mar 31 '06||PIT 4 at NYI 0||S. Gonchar|
|Mar 24 '06||NYI 3 at PIT 4 - OT||S. Crosby|
|Feb 04 '06||NYI 5 at PIT 4 - SO||M. Satan|
|Jan 26 '06||PIT 3 at NYI 4 - SO||M. Satan|
|Nov 14 '05||NYI 3 at PIT 2 - SO||J. Blake|
|Nov 03 '05||PIT 5 at NYI 1||M. Recchi|