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Pittsburgh
Penguins
47-27-8
New York
Islanders
35-38-9

21 SOG
52 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PIT
NYI
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Penguins-Islanders Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins-Islanders Preview
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders

The Pittsburgh Penguins have earned a point in five straight games, but a scoring drought over the weekend prevented them from piling up a few more.

Hours after completing a deal that they hope will help them score more goals, the Penguins look to get back on the winning track when they open a three-game road trip with a matchup against the surging New York Islanders on Tuesday.

The Penguins (35-21-7) seemed on their way to taking over the top spot in the Eastern Conference on Saturday when they led Ottawa 3-0 in the second period. But Pittsburgh's offense went silent from the middle of the second period on, and the Senators stormed back to win 4-3 in overtime.

A day later, the offense was quiet again as Pittsburgh lost 2-1 in a shootout to San Jose.

"It was a big test for us to play those teams," coach Michel Therrien said. "I was afraid of this game (Sunday) because of many reasons, and we managed to get one point but we couldn't get two."

Pittsburgh addressed its need for more scoring prior to Tuesday's trade deadline, acquiring forwards Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis from Atlanta for forwards Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen.

Hossa, who has scored over 30 goals in each of the past six seasons, had 26 in 60 games for the Thrashers in 2007-08. He also had 30 assists, one season after registering 57 en route to a career-high 100 points.

In a separate trade, the Penguins acquired defenseman Hal Gill from Toronto for second- and fifth-round draft picks. The 32-year-old Gill provides another physical presence to go with enforcer Georges Laraque, but is not an exceptional skater or scorer and has only two goals in 63 games.

Christensen and Jarkko Ruutu scored in the shootout Sunday for the Penguins, but goaltender Ty Conklin couldn't stop any of the three Sharks.

Conklin has been one of the league's biggest surprises since starter Marc-Andre Fleury was injured in early December. In 25 starts, he's gone 16-4-5 with a 2.10 goals-against average, and his .931 save percentage leads the NHL.

But Fleury is finally healthy after missing 35 games with a high ankle sprain, and is expected to get a start sometime this week. For now, the Penguins will keep Fleury, Conklin and Dany Sabourin with the club, an unusual practice.

"We all get along very good, so I'm sure we'll find ways to adjust to it and show everybody we'll be fine," said Fleury, who was 9-8-1 with a 2.90 GAA prior to being injured.

The Penguins' scoring drought over the last 90 minutes of the weekend coincided with some rare struggles from Evgeni Malkin. The 21-year-old center is tied for the NHL points lead with Washington's Alexander Ovechkin, but had his 10-game point streak (eight goals, 16 assists) snapped on Saturday.

Malkin hasn't scored a goal in his last 11 games against the Islanders, though he does have 10 assists in that stretch.

New York (30-26-7) had won six straight to climb back into the conference playoff race following a seven-game losing streak, but was unable to make it seven wins in a row on Saturday, falling 4-2 at New Jersey.

"The effort was there but I don't think we had enough fight in us," said Bill Guerin, who leads the team with 19 goals. "We're by no means in any position to take a night off and just start dropping games."

The Islanders are the only team in the NHL without a 20-goal scorer, but they signed leading scorer Mike Comrie to a one-year, $1 million deal Tuesday. New York also cut ties with troubled forward Chris Simon, trading him to Minnesota for a 2008 sixth-round pick, and sent defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron to the Anaheim Ducks for a third-round choice.

Considering it's scored the fewest goals (156) in the East, New York has had to lean heavily on Rick DiPietro to win games. DiPietro posted a 3.70 GAA during the seven-game losing streak, but is 6-1-0 with a 2.27 GAA since.

"We definitely made some positive strides, but we're still not where we want to be," DiPietro said Saturday.

DiPietro is 1-3-0 with a 3.10 GAA this season against the Penguins, who lead the season series 3-2.

The Penguins have scored at least one power-play goal in their past 12 games, while the Islanders haven't scored one in their last four.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 27 '08NYI 1 at PIT 3J. Ruutu
Mar 24 '08PIT 1 at NYI 4B. Guerin
Feb 26 '08PIT 4 at NYI 2J. Staal
Feb 07 '08NYI 3 at PIT 4K. Letang
Dec 21 '07NYI 4 at PIT 2B. Comeau
Dec 15 '07PIT 3 at NYI 2T. Kennedy
Nov 15 '07NYI 2 at PIT 3G. Laraque
Nov 03 '07PIT 2 at NYI 3M. Satan
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%