Evgeni Malkin made quite an impact for Pittsburgh in his first NHL game. He'll need help from his teammates if he wants to experience winning.
Off a successful debut, Malkin will try to help the Penguins (2-4-0) avoid their third loss in a row when they meet the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
The teams split eight games last season, with the Islanders (2-3-1) earning all four of their wins by shootout.
New York will try to stop Malkin, one of the league's most highly touted rookies in recent seasons. He started alongside budding superstar Sidney Crosby during a 2-1 loss to New Jersey on Wednesday night.
After missing almost all of the preseason with a dislocated left shoulder, Malkin accounted for all of Pittsburgh's offense, pushing the puck past Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur to tie the score with 1:22 to play in the second period.
"(Penguins right wing Mark) Recchi gave me a great pass right on the stick and I gave him a pass," Malkin said through an interpreter. "I just went to the net and shot the puck."
The second overall pick in 2004 also caused a brief delay in the third period when his slapshot broke a pane of glass to the side of the net.
"I was worried, it's the first game I'm playing," Malkin added. "In the future, I think it is going to be easier."
With Malkin's debut in the books, the Penguins and Crosby will look to address some inconsistency. Pittsburgh has scored 10 goals in its two wins, but only two tallies in three losses. Crosby, a 102-point scorer as a rookie last season, has failed to score a point in those defeats.
Overall, Crosby leads the team with four assists and six points. Last season, he had six goals - three on the power play - and eight assists in eight games against the Islanders.
New York started the new season by giving up a total of 12 goals in three straight losses, but enters this contest looking for its third win in four games. Former Predators Mike Sillinger and Mike Dunham starred for New York in a 2-1 shootout loss to Nashville on Monday.
Sillinger scored his 200th career goal in regulation, and Dunham - making his third straight start in place of the injured Rick DiPietro - made 32 saves.
"Mike's been fantastic for us," Sillinger said of Dunham. "He's played great in three straight games, and it's too bad he took the loss tonight."
Over his last three games, Dunham has turned aside 109 of 115 shots and posted a 1.90 goals-against average.
If DiPietro is able to start, the Isles still may want Dunham in goal. In 11 games, including nine starts, Dunham is 7-2 with a 1.86 GAA with two career shutouts versus Pittsburgh.
Last season, Miroslav Satan scored six of his career-high 35 goals against the Penguins. He recorded his seventh career hat trick and added a shootout tally in a 5-4 victory on Feb. 4.
Satan has five points this season, tying him with Chris Simon for the Islanders team lead.