Skip to main content
game recap

Lee's goal lifts Islanders past Penguins

Power-play deflection breaks tie; Halak injured

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Lee's power-play goal

PIT@NYI: Lee's deflection gives Islanders the lead

3/8/16: Nick Leddy fires a shot that deflects off Anders Lee in front, giving the Islanders their second power-play goal and a 2-1 lead

  • 01:10 •

NEW YORK -- Anders Lee scored 25 goals as a rookie in 2014-15. This season hasn't gone quite as smoothly, but the New York Islanders' power forward is showing signs of being the player he and his team know he can be.

Lee's power-play goal with 11:05 remaining broke a tie and the Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 at Barclays Center on Tuesday. New York (37-20-7) has won four in a row and moved five points ahead of the Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders are three points behind the second-place New York Rangers and have three games in hand.

Lee broke a 1-1 tie after Penguins center Matt Cullen was penalized for cross-checking. Lee, who made his presence known in front of the net all game, redirected Leddy's shot past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for his 12th goal of the season and third in the past four games.

"It's everyone working together, and I'm benefiting from great play around me," Lee said. "I'm getting sticks on pucks that I've been able to tip and go in. It's nice to see that kind of turn around a little bit. As long as we're winning games, that's all that matters."

Video: PIT@NYI: Tavares hammers shot to open the scoring

John Tavares scored, and Nick Leddy and Frans Nielsen each had two assists for the Islanders, who lost goalie Jaroslav Halak with 4:22 remaining with what appeared to be a lower-body injury. He went down to stop a shot from the right point by Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley and remained down on the ice. Halak eventually headed for the dressing room and was replaced by Thomas Greiss.

Islanders coach Jack Capuano did not have an update on Halak's condition after the game. Halak made 31 saves; Greiss stopped the Penguins' final three shots.

"You never want to see a teammate go down, especially Jaro and the way he's been playing," Lee said. "He stood on his head for us tonight. I hope he's OK and hopefully he'll be back for us real soon. To be honest I'm not too worried, but you never know with this type of thing."

Video: PIT@NYI: Hamonic blocks final-second shot to seal win

Defenseman Kris Letang scored and Fleury made 25 saves for Pittsburgh (34-24-8). The Penguins nearly tied it in the final seconds, but Phil Kessel's shot from the left circle was blocked by Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic.

New York was 2-for-4 on the power play; Pittsburgh was 0-for-3.

"It's discouraging. I thought we played a lot of good hockey," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought we controlled territory for most of the night. The difference in the game is special teams."

Halak kept the Penguins off the board 61 seconds into the game with a dazzling left pad save on Kessel from point-blank range off a 2-on-1 rush with Evgeni Malkin.

Video: PIT@NYI: Letang snipes the top corner in the 1st

Tavares opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 8:04 of the first period. Nine seconds after Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist was whistled for hooking, Tavares sent a slap shot from the right circle that deflected off defenseman Brian Dumoulin's stick and past Fleury to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.

"We're finding ways to win. Guys are contributing in different areas," Tavares said. "Guys are stepping up at different times. You need that when you're able to put a stretch like this together."

Letang tied it at 13:13. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Letang took a pass from Sidney Crosby and beat Halak with a wrist shot from the right circle to make it 1-1.

Video: PIT@NYI: Halak leaves game with injury

With the assist, Crosby extended his point streak to six games.

"I thought we worked hard to get possession. They definitely make you work," Crosby said. "You can't really make a lot of pretty plays. I thought we worked hard, but the execution wasn't quite there."

Penguins forward Carl Hagelin missed his second straight game because of an upper-body injury.

Video: Power-play goals paved the way for an Islanders win

View More