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Pittsburgh at New York

Malkin, Taffe help short-handed Pens double up Isles

CBSSports.com wire reports
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- If the Pittsburgh Penguins can win when giving up 52 shots, just think how good they'll be when Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa are passing the puck to each other.

On the day the Penguins won the trade deadline sweepstakes and acquired Hossa from Atlanta to play with Sid the Kid, Ty Conklin stole the show.

Conklin made an eye-popping, career-best 50 saves Tuesday night in the Penguins' 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders.

"Sometimes shot clocks aren't indicative of the game necessarily," a humble Conklin said.

Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Taffe scored first-period goals for trade-depleted Pittsburgh, and Conklin did the rest. Since coming up in December after Marc-Andre Fleury injured an ankle, Conklin has gone 17-4-5.

Pittsburgh jumped over Ottawa and is just one point behind New Jersey for the lead in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division.

"I haven't seen a goalie steal a game like that this year," Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney said. "He is probably our MVP since Sid went out, he and Malkin. It's not something we want to make a habit of though."

Just hours after the Penguins made the biggest splash by acquiring Hossa for forwards Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen, Pittsburgh pulled out a win despite being outshot 52-21.

Frans Nielsen scored on Conklin in the second period to get the Islanders within 2-1. Trent Hunter hit the crossbar less than two minutes into the third, and New York dropped its second straight following a six-game winning streak.

"We thought if we keep pressuring them, we'd score some goals and take over the game, and we didn't do that," forward Miroslav Satan said. "It just wasn't our day. We just have to remember what we did for six games in a row."

Pittsburgh went 2-for-4 on the power play, compared to 1-for-9 for New York, on the outside of the Eastern playoff race.

"I'm not really sure we played our best game," Conklin said. "We got some breaks, a couple of crossbars, and a couple of good chances they missed, too."

Jordan Staal scored during a delayed-penalty call with 7:05 remaining to restore Pittsburgh's two-goal lead, and Connor James -- just up from the minors -- made it 4-1 with 3:02 left on his first NHL goal.

The Penguins played two men short until James and Nathan Smith arrived in the second period. The bench got even shorter after Ryan Malone broke a skate and Rob Scuderi hurt a finger.

"It was like pickup hockey," coach Michel Therrien said. "Who is fresh goes on the ice."

Ruslan Fedotenko's power-play goal brought the Islanders to 4-2.

Hossa and defenseman Hal Gill, acquired from Toronto, are expected to play Thursday when the Penguins visit Boston. Once captain Crosby returns from a high ankle sprain and joins Hossa on a line, the Penguins will possess one of the NHL's most potent offenses.

"It's a privilege for us to get help like that and we're going to be ready to play well and make a long run," Whitney said. "We're a good team, but we just got a lot better."

The Islanders dominated the Penguins in the first period, yet were down 2-0. New York registered a season-best 23 shots and gave up six.

The Penguins grabbed the lead 10:50 in and they did it with their second shot, both coming on the same shift. Malkin got to a rebound of Petr Sykora's drive and carried the puck behind the net and out the left side.

He drifted backward into the left circle and snapped off a shot while gliding that beat Rick DiPietro. It was Malkin's 36th goal and his 13th in 18 games since Crosby was injured on Jan. 18.

Taffe doubled the lead during a 5-on-3 power play with 2:08 remaining in the first. He has four goals on the season, two in three games.

New York couldn't do anything with four power plays in the first period and three more in the second. Multiple odd-man rushes produced little against Conklin on the choppy ice.

The Islanders' reunited "Kid Line" cut the deficit to 2-1 with 9:34 left in the second period. Jeff Tambellini, recalled earlier Tuesday after Chris Simon was traded to Minnesota, slid a shot from the right circle in front. Nielsen deflected the puck in for his first of the season and second in 26 career NHL games.

New York outshot Pittsburgh 11-4 in the second.

"I don't think I've ever played a game where we had this many shots and didn't win," forward Sean Bergenheim said. "The power play was awful."

Notes

  • Islanders C Mike Comrie signed a one-year extension worth $4 million. He could have become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • New York also traded D Marc-Andre Bergeron to Anaheim and acquired Rob Davison from San Jose. Davison was in the lineup.
  • The Islanders outshot Atlanta 49-10 in a 4-1 win on Feb. 16.
  • Pittsburgh is 19-5-5 in its last 29.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Goalie Ty Conklin finishes with a career-high 50 stops to help the Pens deny the Isles.  (AP)
Goalie Ty Conklin finishes with a career-high 50 stops to help the Pens deny the Isles. (AP)

Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Pittsburgh  (36-21-7) «2024
NY Islanders (30-27-7)0112
Three Stars
T. Conklin
PIT


Saves: 50
Save Pct.: .962
E. Malkin
PIT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
C. James
PIT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:50Evgeni Malkin (36), Slap Shot. Assist: Petr Sykora, Jeff Taffe
17:52Power Play - Jeff Taffe (4), Tip-In. Assist: Tyler Kennedy, Kris Letang
2ND PERIOD
10:26Frans Nielsen (1), Tip-In. Assist: Jeff Tambellini, Freddy Meyer
3RD PERIOD
12:55Jordan Staal (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Evgeni Malkin, Petr Sykora
16:58Power Play - Connor James (1), Backhand Shot. Assist: Ryan Whitney
18:43Power Play - Ruslan Fedotenko (15), Tip-In. Assist: Josef Vasicek, Trent Hunter
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:36Staal, 2 min, Holding
02:14Fedotenko, 2 min, Hooking
02:28Ruutu, 2 min, Hooking
13:15Gonchar, 2 min, Holding
13:41Whitney, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
16:06Park, 2 min, Holding the Stick
17:43Gervais, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
59.0Staal, 2 min, High-Sticking
05:26Laraque, 2 min, Hooking
13:20Laraque, 2 min, High-Sticking
18:34Letang, 2 min, Slashing
3RD PERIOD
05:16Martinek, 2 min, Holding
15:24Fedotenko, 2 min, Tripping
17:03Kennedy, 5 min, Fighting
17:03Comrie, 5 min, Fighting
17:03Comrie, 10 min, Game Misconduct
18:32Malkin, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
Pittsburgh641121
New York23111852
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Ty Conklin59:54502
Rick DiPietro59:53174
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Pittsburgh2-for-3
NY Islanders1-for-2
Game Information
Attendance - 11258
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Dan O'Rourke
Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Jean Morin
 
Other Games
Colo 3 Final
OT
Cal 2
Ott 0 Final
Bos 4
NJ 1 Final
OT
Car 2
Dal 3 Final
StL 1
Det 3 Final
Edm 4
Min 1 Final
Wash 4
Atl 1 Final
Mon 5