Final
  for this game

Islanders-Penguins Preview

Feb 10, 2010 - 4:55 AM
By BRETT HUSTON STATS Writer

New York (23-27-8) at Pittsburgh (35-22-2), 7:30 p.m. EDT

The Pittsburgh Penguins tend to win when they're successful on the power play, which converts at an alarmingly low rate for a team boasting Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

They didn't have any problems with the man advantage the last time the New York Islanders came to town.

Crosby, Malkin and the Penguins begin a three-game pre-Olympic homestand on Wednesday night looking to add to the woes of the Islanders, who try to win for the second time in nine games and avoid a seventh straight defeat at Mellon Arena.

Pittsburgh (35-22-2) had the 20th ranked power play last season (17.2 percent) before going on to win the Stanley Cup, and it's gotten worse in 2009-10 (16.1 percent and 26th in the league).

The Penguins were 24-2-0 when they scored at least once with the man advantage before Sunday's game against Washington. Though Crosby connected with a first period power-play goal as Pittsburgh opened a 4-1 lead, the red-hot Capitals rallied to win 5-4 in overtime.

"I think maybe our approach to games is outscore the other teams rather than outdefend the other team," defenseman Brook Orpik said. "That might sound stupid or elementary to some people but I think our mentality sometimes going into games is you have to score more goals rather than prevent more goals."

Crosby's second goal of the first period was his 39th of the year, tying his career high set as a rookie in 2005-06.

There's plenty of reason to believe he can hit 40 on Wednesday considering what he did when the Islanders (24-27-8) visited on Jan. 19. Crosby had two even-strength goals and assisted on four Pittsburgh power-play goals - three by Malkin - in a 6-4 win.

The Penguins are 10 for 31 (32.3 percent) with the man advantage during their six-game home winning streak versus New York.

"We have had a little bit of success but they work really, really hard," said Crosby, who has 30 points in 14 career games against the Islanders at Mellon Arena. "They have some guys who can score up front. ... (Like) a lot of teams, (they) want to play a fast-paced game. We have to be ready for that."

Crosby's 22 career power-play points against the Islanders are his most against any opponent.

New York came into Tuesday's visit from Nashville with the second-worst power play in the league (15.1 percent), and it was 0 for 19 during the last five games of a seven-game losing streak.

The Islanders snapped out of their man-advantage funk just in time to avoid their longest stretch without a point since a 10-game drought from Dec. 22, 1997-Jan. 10, 1998. Bruno Gervais tied the game at 2-all with a power-play goal late in the second period, then Marc Streit's man-advantage goal with 13 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.

Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored in a shootout to lift New York to a 4-3 win.

"The way things have been going lately, you realize that this was big," said goaltender Martin Biron, who earned his first victory since Nov. 13. "This was something that can maybe switch momentum on our side."

The Islanders have won six of their last seven shootouts. Pittsburgh is 7-0 this season, including a 4-3 win on Oct. 3 at Nassau Coliseum.

Marc-Andre Fleury is 4-0-1 with a 1.56 goals-against average in his last five games versus New York.






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  • -------------------------------------------
    Ny Islanders
    0 0 1 --1
    Pittsburgh 0 2 1 --3
    -------------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: M Martin, Nyi (major
    fighting), 9:37; T Kennedy, Pit (major fighting), 9:37; K Letang, Pit
    (delay of game), 10:34; J Tavares, Nyi (slashing), 10:34; B Orpik, Pit
    (interference), 16:00.

    SECOND P

    Feb 10 10:03 PM


  • -------------------------------------------
    Ny Islanders
    0 0 1 --1
    Pittsburgh 0 2 1 --3
    -------------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: M Martin, Nyi (major
    fighting), 9:37; T Kennedy, Pit (major fighting), 9:37; K Letang, Pit
    (delay of game), 10:34; J Tavares, Nyi (slashing), 10:34; B Orpik, Pit
    (interference), 16:00.

    SECOND P

    Feb 10 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    PITTSBURGH 3 05:12 LEFT, 3RD PRD

    Islanders 1, Penguins 3  3rd - 5:12Feb 10 9:53 PM
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    NY ISLANDERS 1
    PITTSBURGH 2 10:22 LEFT, 3RD PRD

    Islanders 1, Penguins 2  3rd - 10:22Feb 10 9:45 PM
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  • --------------------------------------
    Ny Islanders
    0 0 --0
    Pittsburgh 0 2 --2
    --------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: M Martin, Nyi (major
    fighting), 9:37; T Kennedy, Pit (major fighting), 9:37; K Letang, Pit
    (delay of game), 10:34; J Tavares, Nyi (slashing), 10:34; B Orpik, Pit
    (interference), 16:00.

    SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 1,

    Feb 10 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    PITTSBURGH 2 03:00 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Islanders 0, Penguins 2  2nd - 3:00Feb 10 9:06 PM


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    NY ISLANDERS 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 09:27 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Islanders 0, Penguins 1  2nd - 9:27Feb 10 8:48 PM


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

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: M Martin, Nyi (major
    fighting), 9:37; T Kennedy, Pit (major fighting), 9:37; K Letang, Pit
    (delay of game), 10:34; J Tavares, Nyi (slashing), 10:34; B Orpik, Pit
    (interference), 16:00.

    Shots on goal:
    ---------------------------------

    Feb 10 8:14 PM
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