The New York Islanders (7-4-1) won their fourth straight game on Thursday night, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in a shootout at Barclays Center.
Thomas Greiss made 29 saves and stopped all three Penguins shootout attempts, while Josh Bailey netted the game-deciding goal in the third round of the shootout. The win was the Islanders second in a row vs the Penguins and improved the Islanders to 5-0-0 in divisional games for the second time in team history.
"Any time you put a few wins together, the feeling gets really good in the room," Anders Lee said. "That energy is there. We're playing good hockey against some good teams. They've set the standard the last few years and to get a couple wins, obviously just a shootout, but huge points for us."
Video: PIT@NYI: Greiss lays out to poke it away from Crosby
GREISS, GREISS BABY:
With the game on the line in overtime, Thomas Greiss made a gutsy call.
With Sidney Crosby barreling in on an uncontested breakaway in overtime, Greiss channelled his inner Johnny Bower, lunging out for a diving poke check. It's a move Greiss works on quite a bit in practice, but the stakes were a little higher on Thursday night. Not that it fazed the always-cool Isles goalie.
"You just read the play and go for it if you feel like it," Greiss said. "I don't think too many guys do it, so you have to mix it up every once in a while."
The fact that he tried it - and that it worked - reflected the type of confidence Greiss was playing with on Thursday.
"He played with a lot of confidence. I think we feed off that," Bailey said. "You could really tell he was in the zone tonight and probably the biggest reason we were able to win."
Video: PIT@NYI: Greiss flashes the leather to deny Kessel
Greiss' heroics extended beyond his full-body extension in OT. The Islanders goalie had Phil Kessel's number throughout the night, twice robbing the Penguins sharpshooter, including a glove save with five seconds to play.
In the shootout, Greiss turned aside Evgeni Malkin, then Crosby and played a little standup goalie and closed his skates on Kris Letang.
"Greisser was solid all night," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "He made real key saves at key times, key moments for us. We broke down and they had a couple breakaways and stuff like that. Those are pretty good people coming at him and he didn't flinch."
"Who knows with Robin out, he might have to carry the load here for a game or two," Trotz added.
Video: PIT@NYI: Bailey roofs backhander in the shootout
ISLES GRIND OUT WIN:
The Islanders knew the Penguins were going to come at them hard after the Isles beat them 6-3 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
The Islanders got the opponent they expected, but as they've done of late, they found a way to grind out a win.
A key stretch came with Pittsburgh leading 1-0 in the second period, as the Islanders were forced to kill off a penalty that evolved from a 4-on-3, to 5-on-3 and then to a 5-on-4.
The Islanders not only killed off the succession of penalties, but capitalized on a shorthanded chance, with Casey Cizikas blocking a shot before springing Josh Bailey on a breakaway. Bailey froze Matt Murray before sliding the puck five hole to extend his point streak to seven games.
"That to me changed everything," Trotz said. "That was a real key moment in that game. If you fail there, they have the [2-0] lead. Instead we get it squared up and gives us an emotional jolt."
Video: PIT@NYI: Bailey slips SHG five-hole on Murray
The Islanders found a way to work through another tough stretch to start the third period, when the Penguins hemmed the Isles and prevented the home team from clearing the zone. Instead, the Islanders took their second lead of the game, with Thomas Hickey banking a shot off Anders Lee's skate and past Murray at 10:11.
The 2-1 lead was a necessary cushion as Evgeni Malkin made it 2-2 with Pittsburgh second power-play goal of the game - a shot that deflected off Adam Pelech's stick and in - at 12:02.
"They came out with a good push, we were a little sloppy, we knew it, but we settled back in," Lee said. "If you escape it like we did, we didn't get scored on, it's always one of those things we can bounce right back and we did that."
Video: PIT@NYI: Lee redirects it past Murray with his skate
BAILEY EXTENDS POINT STREAK TO SEVEN GAMES:
Josh Bailey has nine points (2G, 7A) on his seven-game run and leads the Islanders with 13 points (3G, 10A) this season.
The Islanders conclude a stretch of five straight divisional games on Saturday night when they host the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center.