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Pittsburgh at New York

Penguins' Crosby ties it in third, beats Islanders in OT

CBSSports.com wire reports
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Sidney Crosby went through a cluster of Islanders like they weren't even there.

With the puck on his stick in overtime, all he saw was the net. And then he hit it.

Crosby, who scored the tying goal in the third period, netted the winner with a brilliant individual effort 3:44 into overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Tuesday night.

He stole the puck from Thomas Vanek just outside the New York blue line, streaked down the middle between two defenseman and jammed a backhander past Anders Nilsson for his 15th goal.

"The puck just came to me, and I found a way," Crosby said. "I had some time to wind up and get some speed. It was a good situation.

"I didn't notice how many guys were hanging on me. I just went for the net."

Simple enough for Sid the Kid, who had made it 2-2 with 12:00 left in regulation by firing in a one-timer from the right circle off a pass from Evgeni Malkin.

Nilsson was the hard-luck loser in overtime for the second successive game. New York, which has dropped seven straight (0-5-2), gave up the lead late to Washington on Saturday and was beaten in overtime on a goal by Alex Ovechkin.

"Every goal you let in is frustrating," said Nilsson, who made 31 saves in his seventh NHL game. "I thought I should have had the winner from Ovi and I should have the winner tonight."

Malkin assisted on power-play goals by James Neal and Crosby to back Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 21 saves. His best stop came on Frans Nielsen's penalty shot in the third when New York led 2-1.

If a standard penalty was called instead of a penalty shot, it would have wiped out the rest of the Penguins' power play that produced the tying goal.

"That definitely might have changed things," Crosby said.

Kyle Okposo scored twice in the first period for the Islanders, who are third from the bottom in the East.

Despite the gap in the standings, the Islanders play the Penguins much tighter on the ice. The teams have split two games in Pittsburgh this season, following the Penguins' six-game, first-round playoff triumph over New York last spring.

"The rivalry is real," Fleury said. "They play us close and really make us work. They are a good team against us just about every time we play them."

The Penguins (19-9-1) moved one point ahead of idle Boston atop the Eastern Conference with their fourth consecutive victory, and completed a 3-0 road trip.

Pittsburgh's potent power play, ranked No. 1 in the NHL, got the Penguins back in the game. Neal connected in the final seconds of the second period, and Crosby tied it in the third.

Nilsson held off the Penguins long enough for New York to salvage a point in the standings. John Tavares assisted on both of Okposo's goals.

"I thought we played very well," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We really needed that third one and didn't get it. It's very hard for us to win with two goals.

"It came down to special teams again. My frustration is the same as what the players are feeling because we've all been there."

Okposo hadn't scored in eight games but he broke out with two during a 4:35 span of the first and nearly netted a third before the intermission. He backhanded a shot from the bottom of the left circle into the crease. The puck and Tavares, along with Crosby and Kris Letang of the Penguins all arrived on Fleury's doorstep at the same time. It found its way in off of Letang to make it 1-0 with 7:05 left.

Okposo got even more help on his second goal, which was his eighth of the season. He wound up from above the right circle and ripped a drive that struck Fleury and then squeezed under his left arm before trickling behind him with 2:30 to go.

Pittsburgh had a chance to cut into its deficit late in the frame when Vanek and Aaron Ness took penalties 1:17 apart, giving the Penguins a two-man advantage that lasted the final 37.3 seconds of the first period and 5 seconds of the second.

What Pittsburgh couldn't do in the first, it did in the second when Neal notched a power-play goal with 15.6 seconds left off a feed in front from Malkin, who extended his point and assist streaks to nine games. He has 15 assists and 19 points during the run, earning star of the week and month honors in the NHL.

Neal scored his ninth goal of the season and seventh in six games to make it 2-1. He has 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) in the past 13 games.

Notes

Malkin had league-best 25 points and 21 assists in November, the most assists in a month since Wayne Gretzky also had 21 in January 1996. ... The Islanders hadn't scored first in seven games and hadn't held a two-goal lead since a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles on Nov. 14.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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James Neal (left) and Kris Letang converge on Sidney Crosby after he scores in overtime.  (USATSI)
James Neal (left) and Kris Letang converge on Sidney Crosby after he scores in overtime. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh  (19-9-1) «01113
NY Islanders (8-15-5)20002
Three Stars
S. Crosby
PIT


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
K. Okposo
NYI


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
E. Malkin
PIT


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:53 - Kyle Okposo (7), Backhand Shot. Assist: Tavares, Vanek
12:55 - Kyle Okposo (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Tavares, MacDonald
2ND PERIOD
19:44Power Play - James Neal (9), Slap Shot. Assist: Malkin, Kunitz
3RD PERIOD
08:00Power Play - Sidney Crosby (14), Slap Shot. Assist: Malkin
OT
03:44 - Sidney Crosby (15), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
18:05Vanek, 2 min, Holding the stick
19:22Ness, 2 min, High sticking
2ND PERIOD
14:49Neal, 2 min, Elbowing
19:15Tavares, 2 min, Cross Check
3RD PERIOD
06:42Ness, 2 min, High sticking
08:37Martin, 2 min, Roughing
08:37Orpik, 2 min, Holding the stick
13:16Clutterbuck, 2 min, Roughing
13:16Malkin, 2 min, Roughing
18:13Malkin, 2 min, Cross Check
19:36Vanek, 2 min, Slashing
OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
PIT1081230
NYI98623
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Marc-Andre Fleury 63:35212
Anders Nilsson 63:44313
Game Information
Attendance - 13915
Referees - Francis Charron, Dave Jackson
Linesmen - Ryan Galloway, Tim Nowak
 
Other Games
TB 0 Final
Colu 1
Car 4 Final
Wash 1
SJ 4 Final
Tor 2
Ott 4 Final
Fla 2
Van 3 Final
Nash 1
Dal 4 Final
Chi 3
Pho 6 Final
Edm 2
LA 3 Final
Ana 2