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Malkin helps force OT; Gonchar scores game-winner for Penguins

Oct 20, 2006 - 2:52 AM UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- Rookie Evgeni Malkin's second career goal signified more than just a personal milestone.

Malkin helped force overtime and defenseman Sergei Gonchar scored the game-winning power-play goal in the extra session as the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a two-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders.

The second overall pick in the 2004 draft, Malkin netted his first tally in his initial NHL game on Wednesday, but the Penguins still dropped a 2-1 decision to the New Jersey Devils.

"He (Malkin) is dangerous," Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby said. "Offensively, teams have to be worried about him. It opens it up for the other guys. We are able to move the puck quicker with him. He throws another angle at teams. He's a dangerous player to think about."

However in this one, the Russian's effort did not go for naught.

Malkin drew Pittsburgh even at 3-3 with 11:52 remaining in the third period, when he took a short pass from Crosby and put a shot between the legs of goaltender Mike Dunham.

"I waited on the forecheck and he (Malkin) did a good job of going to the net," said Crosby, who finished with three assists. "He (is) a smart player. He knows if he goes to the net, he is going to get opportunities. As soon as I turned around, he was right there."

Gonchar sealed the win in the extra session when his one-timer from the right point deflected in off the right goalpost.

"We tried to set up a lot of shots," Gonchar said. "(Dunham) could see people passing around the puck for the one-timers. The first couple of shots I took, he could see the puck, but the last one, I have to give credit to Ryan Malone. He stood in front and blocked his vision for a split second, and I had a chance to put it in."

Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves for the Penguins, who went 3-for-8 with the man advantage.

"(The Islanders) have lots of skilled players, but tonight our power play was working well," Fleury said. "That was the difference. I think my guys played well, keeping them on the outside and letting me see the puck."

The Islanders erased a two-goal deficit with three tallies in a three-minute stretch of the second period.

Alexei Yashin scored after receiving a nice cross-ice pass from Viktor Kozlov 15:43 into the session. Mike Sillinger tallied roughly two minutes later and New York went ahead with 1:28 left in the period, when Jason Blake buried the rebound from Yashin's one-timer.

"Coming back from 2-0 and getting the lead is a definite positive," New York coach Ted Nolan said. "I thought Alexei had a solid game. Penalties in key spots cost us."

Dunham stopped 32 shots for the Islanders, who have dropped back-to-back overtime games.






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