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Neal scores twice as Penguins handle Islanders

Dec 11, 2011 - 4:39 AM
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - James Neal scored twice and Steve Sullivan added a goal and an assist, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Islanders, 6-3.

Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke and Paul Martin also netted goals for the Penguins, who played without Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek.

"I thought tonight a lot of guys stepped up in leadership and how we play," Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said.

The Penguins got two assists apiece from Evgeni Malkin, Matt Niskanen, Chris Kunitz and Tyler Kennedy.

Marc Andre-Fleury made 24 saves in the win.

David Ullstrom, Milan Jurcina and Kyle Okposo tallied for the Islanders, who have dropped two straight.

Al Montoya stopped just 25-of-31 shots in the loss.

With the Islanders up 3-2 in the second period, the Penguins scored four unanswered goals in the final 31:16 of regulation.

"After they got that tying goal and fourth goal, we never responded the way we started the game," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said.

Neal tied it on the power play 8:44 into the second. Montoya stopped an initial one-timer by Sullivan from the left circle, but Neal put home the rebound.

Dupuis gave the Penguins the lead late in the second period as his slap shot from the high slot beat Montoya on a 3-on-2 Pittsburgh breakaway.

Cooke made it 5-3 just a minute into the final period as Montoya left another juicy rebound in front after Sullivan's one-timer from the high slot. Cooke pounced on the puck for an easy tally.

From a sharp angle left of the net, Martin threw a wrister on goal which trickled past Montoya to make it 6-3 midway through the third period.

The Islanders took a 2-0 lead midway through the opening period as Ullstrom and Jurcina recorded goals. But Pittsburgh responded by tying it after Sullivan and Neal tallied in the final six minutes of the first period.

Okposo gave the Islanders the lead back a few minutes into the second period as he lifted a wrister into the upper-right corner on a 3-on-2 New York breakaway.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh has won all four meetings this season and 12 of the last 14 games against the Islanders...New York hits the road to take on the Canadiens on Tuesday, while the Penguins head back to Pittsburgh clash with the Red Wings on Tuesday...The Islanders were 1-of-7 on the power play.