The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

October 26, 2013

Islanders rally in third to swipe win from Penguins

PITTSBURGH — By WILL GRAVES

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PITTSBURGH – Josh Bailey’s goal with 1:40 left capped the Islanders’ furious third-period rally, and New York edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Friday night.

Bailey took a feed from Frans Nielsen in front of the net and beat goalie Jeff Zatkoff for his fourth goal of the season. The Islanders scored three times in the final 7:14 and erased deficits of 2-1 and 3-2.

Nielsen, Matt Moulson and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored for New York, and defenseman Radek Martinek had two assists in his season debut. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 39 shots.

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby scored his eighth goal of the season and now has an NHL-high 18 points. Jussi Jokinen and Deryk Engelland also beat Nabokov but couldn’t stop the Penguins from losing their second straight.

Zatkoff, playing in his second NHL game, made 21 saves.

Pittsburgh dominated the game’s first 50 minutes, peppering Nabokov relentlessly. The veteran hung in long enough for New York’s lifeless offense to get going.

Nielsen evened it 2-2 with 7:14 remaining on a nifty deflection. The tie lasted all of 16 seconds as Engelland – a defenseman being used as a fourth-line forward due to Penguins injuries – crashed the net for his first goal in 61 games.

New York, however, kept coming. Shortly after Engelland’s tally, Bouchard took advantage of a Pittsburgh turnover deep in its own end and deked his way by Zatkoff to make it 3-3.

The Penguins’ defense gave Bailey two chances to bury the game-winner.

Zatkoff made a sprawling save to stop Bailey on the doorstep, but the goalie couldn’t grab the rebound. Nielsen immediately fed Bailey again and he kept jabbing at the puck until it found its way behind Zatkoff, setting off a celebration on the Islanders bench.

The meeting was the first between the teams since a tense playoff series last spring. The heavily favored Penguins survived in six games, winning the clincher on Books Orpik’s overtime goal.

The Islanders viewed their energetic performance against the Eastern Conference’s top seed as a springboard but haven’t been able to generate any early momentum.

New York came in with just one victory in its previous six games, each of them decided by a single goal.

Moulson gave the Islanders the early lead, getting his own rebound in front of Zatkoff and backhanding the puck into an open net 10:14 into the first period.

The Penguins needed barely three minutes to tie it.

Seconds after a penalty to Bailey expired, Brandon Sutter wristed a shot from the left circle that smacked off Nabokov’s chest and went right to Jokinen’s stick. The forward had little trouble beating a badly out of position Nabokov for his fifth goal of the season and his 12th in 20 regular-season games with Pittsburgh.

Crosby put the Penguins in front to stay six minutes into the second period when he and Chris Kunitz broke loose for a 2-on-1 rush. Crosby’s wrist shot from the right circle found a sliver of space between Nabokov’s pad and his blocker before sneaking inside the far post.

Pittsburgh’s constant buzzing took some of the pressure off Zatkoff, who struggled in his only other start, a sloppy 6-3 loss to Florida on Oct. 11.

Handed the backup job when Tomas Vokoun went down with a blood clot in his pelvis that will sideline the veteran for at least three months, Zatkoff figures to only play sporadically behind Marc-Andre Fleury, who has sparkled during the first three weeks of the season.

While Zatkoff was certainly steadier than in his NHL debut, he couldn’t get a glove on Nielsen’s beautiful deflection that sparked New York’s scintillating finish.

Note: Pittsburgh D Kris Letang played 25:32 in his season debut. Letang missed nine games due to a lower-body injury.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos