for this game

Sykora's late goal lifts Penguins over Islanders

Feb 26, 2009 - 4:44 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- The depleted Pittsburgh Penguins' offense was able to find a way to reward Marc-Andre Fleury's strong outing.

Petr Sykora snapped a scoreless tie with 2:28 remaining in the third period, lifting the Penguins to a 1-0 triumph over the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Fleury made 21 saves to help Pittsburgh win for third time in four contests despite missing captain Sidney Crosby, who is sidelined with a sore groin.

"There certainly wasn't a lot of chances and there were a couple of plays there where they had chances," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "I don't think it was a terribly exciting game because we didn't have a lot of offensive zone time."

The 24-year-old Fleury turned aside six shots in the first period, 11 in the second and four in the third to secure his third shutout of the season and 14th career.

"There were some long times during the game where I was just standing there," Fleury said.

Yann Danis stopped 27 shots for the Islanders, who have dropped eight of 10. They are 1-19-1 away from home since November 22.

"The bottom line is that for 60 minutes, 5-on-5 after the first period, we were pretty good," New York coach Scott Gordon said. "Most of their shots in the third period came on the power play and it wasn't so much great plays by them, it was our inability to get the puck down the ice when we had opportunities. They got chances off those.

"But 5-on-5, I don't think either team created a lot of opportunities and I think that was just a commitment to good defense."

Sykora converted passes from defenseman Sergei Gonchar and All-Star Evgeni Malkin in the waning minutes of regulation, firing a wrist shot from the slot that sailed by Danis.

"They're a pretty strong team, a good forechecking team and they're on you all the time," Danis said. "That definitely makes our job a lot harder. It just didn't go our way, but overall I thought we did a great job, especially in our zone."

Fleury entered having surrendered 21 goals in his previous five games, but he shrugged off his struggles at the expense of the last-place team in the Eastern Conference.

Prior to blanking the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, on Saturday, New York had not scored more than three goals since January 29.

"It's good," Fleury said. "I think we've been struggling a little bit against teams that are lower in the standings. We got two points and everyone's happy."

Nevertheless, Fleury's effort was nearly negated, mostly because of an offense clearly missing its leader.

"I thought it was a pretty exciting game for a 1-0 game," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "There (were) a lot of chances. I thought we played a lot better defensively tonight, didn't give them much and created out chances rather than cheating off of their mistakes."

Crosby, who is tied for second in the NHL with 79 points, said he began to feel the soreness in his groin during Sunday's 5-2 loss at Washington. The only other game Crosby missed this season came against Anaheim on January 16, when he was out of the lineup due to an illness.

It is unclear when the 2007 Hart Trophy winner will return for Pittsburgh, which opens a five-game road trip in Chicago on Friday.






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    Islanders 0, Penguins 1  FinalFeb 26 9:03 AM
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  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 23 (SERGEI GONCHAR, EVGENI MALKIN) 17:32
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: NYI - 0 OF 3, PIT - 0 OF 3.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 6 11

    Feb 25 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    3RD PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 23 (SERGEI GONCHAR, EVGENI MALKIN) 17:32

    Islanders 0, Penguins 1  3rd - 2:28Feb 25 9:54 PM
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  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 6 11 17
    PIT 8 10 18
    GOALIES: NYI - YANN DANIS
    PIT - MARC-ANDRE FLEURY

    Feb 25 9:05 PM
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  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 6 6
    PIT 8 8
    GOALIES: NYI - YANN DANIS
    PIT - MARC-ANDRE FLEURY

    Feb 25 8:09 PM
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