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Miroslav Satan has goal, assist as Islanders defeat Penguins 3-1

Miroslav Satan had a goal and assist, and Rick DiPietro stopped 35 shots in the New York Islanders' 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday before 15,625 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"It helps to have a full house," DiPietro said. "It's a big time of year for us, and you have to put forth a full effort in front of a full house."

Alexei Yashin and Sean Hill also scored goals for New York, 5-1-1 in its last seven games.

Evgeni Malkin spoiled DiPietro's shutout bid in the third period with his 11th goal for the Penguins, and Jocelyn Thibault turned aside 26 shots. Pittsburgh, which lost for the second time in seven contests (4-2-1), was without second-year star Sidney Crosby for the second straight game.

The centre, 19, took part in the pre-game warmup, but was forced out of the lineup by a sore groin.

DiPietro kept the Penguins off the board until late and was helped when the Islanders killed a 51-second, two-man disadvantage halfway through the opening period. Shortly after a faceoff, Richard Park - the only forward on the ice for New York - broke his stick. Park then blocked two shots, while the Islanders were short-handed.

"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Park said. "We work on positioning in practice, and you just try to get in the shooting lanes and minimize their angles."

Islanders coach Ted Nolan said it was one of the biggest keys of the game.

"That's a momentum builder," Nolan said.

Yashin opened the scoring at 2:12 of the second period. Thibault tried to clear the puck behind the net, but it hit Miroslav Satan. Satan found Yashin, parked by the left post, and the Islanders captain put the puck in the open left side.

The goal extended Yashin's point streak to four games (3-3-6). He has 15 points in 12 games (seven goals, eight assists), and leads the team with 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists).

Satan earned his 300th NHL assist on the play and is one goal away from reaching 300.

While trailing 1-0, Pittsburgh had the potential tying goal disallowed at 6:57 of the second period when it was ruled that Malkin, at the bottom of a pileup in front of the Islanders net, threw the puck past DiPietro.

Colby Armstrong was denied a goal by DiPietro's best save of the period. DiPietro snared a rising 30-foot slap shot from the top of the right circle with his glove at 14:22.

Satan made it 2-0 with his fifth goal at 5:24 of the third. As the teams skated four-on-four, Satan tipped Brendan Witt's right point shot past Thibault.

"I'll call it a lucky deflection," Satan said.

Satan has scored in consecutive games after netting only three goals in the first 19 games.

"In the last how-many games, I've had chances, but either the goalie has come up with a save, or I've missed the net," said Satan, the team leader last season with 35 goals. "I'm just hoping it'll even itself out and I'll get on one of those streaks."

Hill scored his first of the season at 8:31. Malkin broke DiPietro's shutout bid at 12:46 with a wrist shot from the left circle.

Malkin, the Penguins' latest star rookie, appeared to be injured late in the game following a shoulder-to-shoulder hit by Islanders defenceman Brendan Witt. Witt's check at the Islanders blue line knocked Malkin's helmet off, and the centre skated directly off the ice toward the dressing room.

A Penguins spokesman said Malkin "had his bell rung," but didn't hurt his shoulder injury.

"I don't think he saw me coming," Witt said. "I got him with my shoulder, and I think I hit him in the chest."

Pittsburgh was 0-for-9 on the power play.

"Our power play wasn't up to doing its part," forward Jordan Staal said. "We've got to be better there. We had too many breakdowns to capitalize on our chances."

Notes: Capacity at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is 16,234. ... With a Saturday matchup against Washington, the Islanders will play three home games in four days.


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