for this game

DiPietro strong as Islanders top Penguins

Mar 23, 2007 - 4:57 AM
UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- Rick DiPietro put the New York Islanders stalled playoff push back on track, at least for one night.

DiPietro made 26 saves, including one on a penalty shot by Evgeni Malkin, and Trent Hunter and Jason Blake scored goals 2 1/2 minutes apart in the second period as the Islanders posted a 3-1 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With the win, New York (35-27-11) remained one point behind Montreal (38-31-6) and Carolina (37-29-8) for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders returned home after going 0-3-1 on their four-game road trip. DiPietro missed nearly three full contests on the trek after receiving a knee to the head in a 5-3 loss to Montreal on March 13.

New York allowed 22 goals on the trip, which included a 4-3 overtime loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday in DiPietro's return. The star goaltender was far better in this one, keeping the Penguins' potent offense at bay for most of the night.

"It seemed like we had our old team back," Islanders coach Ted Nolan. "With Ricky back in there, our confidence seems to rise. For whatever reason, the confidence wasn't there on the last road trip."

Colby Amstrong scored the lone goal for the Penguins, who have lost consecutive games following a five-game winning streak. With the setback, Pittsburgh (41-23-10) fell four points behind Ottawa (44-23-8) for fourth place in the East.

Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, who leads the NHL with 108 points, had three goals and 11 assists in six previous meetings with the Islanders but was kept off the scoresheet Thursday.

"There were probably three or four (pucks) that were sitting behind him and we didn't have the guy to bring it home," Crosby said. "This time of year, we have to have the guys to do that. He made some good saves, but we have to make sure we're desperate there."

Armstrong opened the scoring late in the first period, when he beat DiPietro after taking a cross-ice pass from Gary Roberts.

Trailing, 1-0, the Islanders tied it at 2:37 of the second on a power-play goal by Hunter, who put a wrist shot from between the faceoff circles over the shoulder of netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. Blake scored from nearly the same spot 2:35 later, firing a wrister inside the left goalpost after receiving a pass from Ryan Smyth.

"The end result is what we wanted," Smyth said. "We were doing the right things, making the right choices."

DiPietro kept it a 2-1 game with 13:34 left in the second, when he stopped a penalty shot by Malkin, who was taken down by defenseman Tom Poti during a breakaway. The Russian rookie's shot dribbled slowly between the legs of DiPietro, who then reached behind him and covered the puck.

"He's a great player. I just found a way to get my equipment on it," DiPietro said. "I just did what I could to stop the puck."

Viktor Kozlov scored on a wrist shot from the slot 1:42 into the second to give the Islanders a two-goal cushion.

The Penguins failed to score with a two-man advantage that lasted 37 seconds midway through the second period. The Islanders were whistled for a pair of penalties in the final two minutes, but Pittsburgh still was unable to cash in, even with Fleury pulled for an extra attacker.

"DiPietro was great, but right now we're not scoring enough goals," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said.

The game was a hard-checking, feisty contest that featured 14 minor penalties.

"Good hard hockey, the way it's supposed to be played," Penguins right wing Mark Recchi said. "Guys played hard and did the things they needed to do."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 0 1
    NY ISLANDERS 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 11 (GARY ROBERTS, MAXIME TALBOT) 16:55
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) TRENT HUNTER 20 (MIROSLAV SATAN, CHRIS CAMPOLI)
    2:37
    NYI - JASON BLAKE 36 (RYAN SMYTH, TOM POTI) 5:12
    3RD PRD: NYI - VIKTOR KOZLOV 22 (

    Mar 22 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYI - VIKTOR KOZLOV 22 (ALEXEI YASHIN, MIROSLAV SATAN) 1:42

    Penguins vs. IslandersMar 22 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1
    NY ISLANDERS 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 11 (GARY ROBERTS, MAXIME TALBOT) 16:55
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) TRENT HUNTER 20 (MIROSLAV SATAN, CHRIS CAMPOLI)
    2:37
    NYI - JASON BLAKE 36 (RYAN SMYTH, TOM POTI) 5:12
    MISSED PENALTY SHOTS

    Mar 22 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    2ND PRD: NYI - JASON BLAKE 36 (RYAN SMYTH, TOM POTI) 5:12

    Penguins vs. IslandersMar 22 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) TRENT HUNTER 20 (MIROSLAV SATAN, CHRIS CAMPOLI)
    2:37

    Penguins vs. IslandersMar 22 8:37 PM


  • ------------------------
    Pittsburgh
    1 --1
    Ny Islanders 0 --0
    ------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Pittsburgh, Colby Armstrong 11 (Gary
    Roberts, Maxime Talbot), 16:55. Penalties: C Campoli, Nyi (roughing),
    8:37; Bench, Pit (too many men served by G Laraque), 11:51.

    Shots on goal:
    -----------------------------
    Pittsburgh 9 --9
    Ny Islanders 10 --10


    Mar 22 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 11 (GARY ROBERTS, MAXIME TALBOT) 16:55

    Penguins vs. IslandersMar 22 8:12 PM