Penguins win streak extended to 11 after 4-2 victory over Islanders
March 23, 2013 1:30 AM
Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press
The Penguins' Craig Adams, Simon Despres and Tanner Glass celebrate Joe Vitale's goal as the Islanders' Michael Grabner skates away in the second period.
By Dave Molinari Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Penguins overcame a wretched start to run their winning streak to 11 games with a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum tonight.
Brandon Sutter broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period, as he beat New York goalie Evgeni Nabokov from the left side of the crease after being set up by Matt Cooke.
The goal, Sutter's ninth, came at 1:46 and also netted an assist for James Neal.
Pascal Dupuis scored into an empty net as time expired to provide the Penguins' final margin of victory.
The Penguins played without center Evgeni Malkin, who missed his seventh consecutive game with an apparent shoulder injury, and defenseman Kris Letang, who sat his second in a row after apparently aggravating a leg injury Sunday against Boston.
Malkin was placed on injured-reserve a few hours before the game, when the Penguins recalled forward Trevor Smith from their farm team in Wilkes-Barre.
Smith filled in for right winger Tyler Kennedy, who did not play because of illness.
Because Malkin already has been out for more than seven days, he is eligible to leave IR at any time, as soon as there is a spot for him on the 23-man roster.
The Islanders ran up the first 12 shots of the game, and by the time James Neal launched one at New York goalie Evgeni Nabokov at 12:53 of the opening period, owned a 1-0 lead.
Mark Streit got the goal at 7:46, when he beat goalie Tomas Vokoun from high on the left side of the slot.
The Penguins pulled even at 8:11 of the second, as Joe Vitale took a pass from Craig Adams and threw a shot over Nabokov's glove from the left dot for his second of the season.
Josh Bailey restored New York's advantage at 17:18, when he capped an extended flurry in the Penguins' end by sweeping a shot past Vokoun from the left side of the crease, but the Penguins countered quickly.
With just 13.8 seconds remaining in the period, Chris Kunitz received a feed from Sidney Crosby and beat Nabokov from the slot for his 19th of the season. Dupuis got the second assist.
The Penguins are off until Sunday, when Philadelphia will visit Consol Energy Center at 7:38 p.m.