Penguins win regular-season home finale
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The Penguins climbed in to a three-way tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference by beating the New York Islanders, 6-1, tonight in their final regular-season game at Mellon Arena.
The top four seeds earn home ice for the first round of the playoffs The Penguins can finish no worse than sixth place.
The Penguins, Carolina and Philadelphia each have 97 points, although Carolina would hold the wins tiebreaker over the Penguins, and the Flyers have a game in hand on the other two.
The Islanders -- who with the loss assured they would finish last in the NHL standings -- took a 1-0 lead at 5:05 of the first period when center Frans Nielsen scored on from the right circle on a long rebound for a power-play goal.
Defenseman Philippe Boucher, playing in his first game since Jan. 30 following foot surgery, tied it for the Penguins. Coming down the slot, he converted a centering pass from behind the net by center Evgeni Malkin at 14:15 of the first period.
The Penguins got the only two goals of the second period for a 3-1 lead.
Winger Pascal Dupuis got a fluky goal when his shot bounced high off Nielsen -- who was tying up Penguins defenseman Kris Letang -- and past Islanders goaltender Joey MacDonald at 3:51.
Winger Matt Cooke made it 3-1 when he scored from the right circle off a cross-ice feed from center Jordan Staal at 8:19.
The Penguins continued to pile on the goals in the third period.
Winger Bill Guerin scored from above the crease to make it 4-1 at 11:08 after center Sidney Crosby wrested the puck from Islanders defenseman Bruno Gervais in the corner and fed Guerin.
On the Penguins' first power play of the game, Crosby deflected in a Sergei Gonchar shot at 12:36 to make it 5-1.
Winger Tyler Kennedy added another at 16:58 when he scored from the right circle.
The Penguins close the regular season Saturday at Montreal.
First Published April 9, 2009 10:07 pm