PITTSBURGH – Evgeni Malkin broke out of a slump with three goals and Sidney Crosby scored twice while figuring in every Pittsburgh goal as the Penguins recovered after blowing a three-goal lead to beat the Islanders 6-4 on Tuesday, ending New York’s four-game winning streak.
Trent Hunter and Richard Park scored in the third period as the Islanders came back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 to tie it, but Kyle Okposo drew a tripping penalty midway through the period that led to Malkin’s power-play goal that made it 5-4.
Earlier, Okposo failed on a penalty shot and couldn’t score twice on breakaways, all in a span of 1:34 in the second period.
Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis left the ice with a towel held to his face after being rammed into the boards by Andy Sutton with 2:55 remaining. Sutton drew a game misconduct. Dupuis was on the ice for several minutes after striking the rear boards face-first before getting up and walking to the Penguins’ dressing room.
Malkin’s go-ahead goal was the third in five attempts by Pittsburgh on a power play that began the night as the NHL’s second worst. Malkin also scored into an empty net with 29.6 seconds remaining, resulting in a brief delay as hundreds of hats and giveaway bags that were handed out to the crowd littered the ice.
It was the first time in their careers that Crosby, the 2007 NHL scoring champion, and Malkin, last season’s champion, each scored multiple goals in the same game. Malkin has four goals in two games after going 11 consecutive games without a goal following his last previous three-goal game Dec. 23, during an 8-2 victory over Ottawa.
Crosby’s six points matched his career high and topped his previous season high of five points Nov. 28 against the Rangers. He has nine multiple goal games this season – three in seven games – and, with 32 goals, he has only one fewer than the 33 he scored last season.
Crosby beat Dwayne Roloson to score even-strength goals that made it 1-0 late in the first and 4-1 in third and he also set up Malkin’s two power-goals and empty-net goal and Bill Guerin’s power-play goal.
Penguins backup goaltender Brent Johnson, out for five games with an undisclosed injury that forced the Penguins to use an amateur goaltender during their 6-2 loss Saturday at Vancouver, made 31 saves during a sometimes shaky performance.
The Islanders, playing their second game in as many days after beating the Devils 4-0 with Rick DiPietro in goal on Monday, looked sluggish and a step slow as the Penguins twice opened three-goal leads in the second period. But the Isles’ fatigue apparently wore off after Freddy Meyer’s first goal of the season started their comeback.
NOTES: The Islanders haven’t won as many as five in a row since winning six straight in February 2008. …. The Islanders have lost their last six in Pittsburgh. … Okposo failed on his penalty shot at 4:36 of the second. He also couldn’t beat Johnson on a pair of breakaways. … Pittsburgh scored multiple goals on the power play for only the second time in 16 games.