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game recap

Sidney Crosby lifts Penguins past Islanders

Captain scores game-winning goal with 2:25 left in third period

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby came through again Thursday.

Crosby scored with 2:25 left in the third period to help the Penguins to a 4-2 win against the New York Islanders at PPG Paints Arena.

Two days after scoring in his season debut against the Florida Panthers, Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead on a wrist shot. It was Crosby's second goal in as many games since returning from a concussion sustained during an Oct. 7 practice.

"We got better as the game went on," Crosby said. "I think we just have to do a better job of staying out of the box and we'll get even more consistent."

The Penguins killed 5-of-6 penalties.

Phil Kessel extended the lead to 4-2 on the power play with 1:53 remaining.

Video: NYI@PIT: Kessel beats Halak to add insurance goal

The Penguins made it 2-1 after Kessel slipped a pass through two Islanders to Evgeni Malkin in the right circle. Malkin snuck a wrist shot through goalie Jaroslav Halak's five-hole with 7:12 remaining in the third period.

Islanders forward Shane Prince tied the game 2-2 on a power play with 4:22 left in the third.

Pittsburgh (5-2-1) won its second straight game since losing 5-1 to the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

New York (3-5-0) lost each game of a back-to-back. The Islanders were defeated 3-2 by the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

Coach Jack Capuano was more pleased with the Islanders' effort Thursday.

"We just wanted our guys to compete," Capuano said. "I thought last night, in the second period, we laid down there a little bit. We competed hard here tonight."

The Penguins took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal from forward Patric Hornqvist 46 seconds into the first period. The goal, assisted by Crosby and Kessel, was Hornqvist's third of the season, which has him tied with Malkin and Kessel for the team lead.

Video: NYI@PIT: Hornqvist scores PPG on tic-tac-toe setup

Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 35 saves, helped maintain a 1-0 lead with a series of saves early in the first.

After stopping a slap shot from Nick Leddy, Fleury denied Andrew Ladd on a rebound chance. Ladd's shot produced another rebound that bounced to Josh Bailey, whose wrist shot was turned away by Fleury's blocker before he made one more stop on John Tavares before freezing the puck 6:11 into the first.

Fleury made several additional key saves through the first half of the second period, but couldn't stop a snap shot from Travis Hamonic that tied the game 1-1 with 4:47 remaining in the second.

Halak also impressed with 31 saves. After allowing Hornqvist to score on the first shot of the game, Halak rebounded to stop each of the Penguins next 27 shots.

Penguins forward Carl Hagelin left the game late in the third period with an apparent injury. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan did not update his status.


Goal of the game

Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey collected the puck behind the net and attempted a pass up the near wall to Prince. Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz intercepted the pass by tipping it to Scott Wilson, who shot into traffic. Crosby gathered the rebound and got the puck past Halak to give Pittsburgh the decisive goal.

Video: NYI@PIT: Crosby reclaims the lead with terrific play


Save of the game

With the Islanders trailing 1-0 early in the second period, Ryan Strome nearly tied the game on a power play. Tavares passed to Ladd to Fleury's left, where he slipped a pass through the crease to Strome. Fleury kicked out his right pad to deny Strome 5:42 into the second.


Highlight of the game

The puck caromed around the glass behind Pittsburgh's net with Fleury leaving the crease when it took an unexpected bounce to Prince out front. As Fleury scrambled, Prince took a wrist shot to tie the game late in the third period.

Video: NYI@PIT: Prince finds the gaping net to tie the game


Unsung moment of the game

Each team missed out on a chance to take a 2-1 lead early in the third. The Islanders began the period on the power play for 1:53 that was cut short when Strome hit Daley with a high stick 53 seconds into the third. The Penguins saw their own power play end prematurely when forward Chris Kunitz tripped Cal Clutterbuck 2:00 into the period.


They said it

"It's a team game, you know? Just try to give the team a chance to stay in the game. I know the guys that we have, they can always come back." -- Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury

"I thought that was, probably through 55 minutes, probably one of the better games we've played in a while. Tough building against a good team. So, frustrating for sure." -- Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic


Need to know

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed his fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury sustained Oct. 18. … Prince returned to the lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury.


What's next

Islanders: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CSN-PH, ROOT, NHL.TV)


Video: Pens net three in the 3rd to down Isles, 4-2

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