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Crosby, Kunitz ensure Pens beat Islanders again

3:37 AM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
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Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz both had a goal and two assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins killed off a 5-on-3 late in regulation to beat the New York Islanders 6-4 on Thursday.

Evgeni Malkin, Olli Maatta, Kris Letang and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Penguins, who have earned points in eight of their last nine games (7-1-1).

Jeff Zatkoff made 30 saves but couldn't keep the puck out of the net on a goal credited to Kyle Okposo with 9:05 remaining that got the Islanders within 5-4.

John Tavares drew two penalties in 71 seconds in the third period -- hooking on Letang and tripping on Tanner Glass, who brought the New York captain down from behind in the slot -- but the Islanders couldn't capitalize.

Michael Grabner, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey also scored for the Islanders, who have dropped three of the four meetings with the Penguins this season.

Kevin Poulin gave up five goals on 28 shots for New York.

The Penguins have won two in a row since their franchise-record 13-game home winning streak was snapped in a 5-1 loss to Florida on Monday.

The Islanders' fourth goal was initially waived off, then ruled good after the officials talked it over.

Okposo sent the puck on net from the right side and it trickled under Zatkoff's legs near the goal line before being accidentally poked in by Pens defenseman Paul Martin.

The goal got the Islanders within 5-4, but they failed to score on their two- man advantage and Sutter sealed it with an empty-netter for Pittsburgh.

Earlier, the Penguins climbed out of a 2-0 hole in the first period with two goals in a span of 1:52.

Kunitz scored his 25th of the season at 9:32 then assisted on Crosby's 27th at the 11:24 mark, finding his teammate in front with a pass from behind the net.

Maata and Letang pushed Pittsburgh's lead to 4-2 in the second period. Maatta scored on a deke to his backhand in front at 5:35 and Letang scored on a power play from the low left side with 2:16 remaining in the period moments after hitting the post from the same area.

Bailey pulled the Islanders within a goal 3:10 into the third period after getting a breakaway off a Penguins turnover in the neutral zone.

But the Penguins responded 2:49 later when James Neal found Malkin on the low left side with a pass from the right circle and Malkin scored easily on a one- timer for his 14th goal of the season to make it 5-3.

Grabner slapped in a bouncing puck from the left circle 99 seconds into the game and Nelson gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead with 8:21 elapsed.

Game Notes

The Islanders' four-game homestand continues Saturday vs. St. Louis ... The Penguins remain on the road to play Dallas on Saturday.

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