PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sidney Crosby scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel also scored – each getting his third of the season – to help the defending champion Penguins win for the third time in four games and improve to 5-0-1 at home.
Crosby, playing for the second straight game after missing the first six with a concussion, scored with 2:25 left as he caught a pass from Scott Wilson at the top of the crease and quickly turned to his forehand to put the puck behind Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Crosby, who also scored in his season debut on Tuesday, now has points in 10 straight regular season games dating back to last season.
Kessel added a power-play goal to cap the scoring 32 seconds later.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots while starting for the eighth straight game. Fleury won for the 19th time in his last 24 home starts and has given up two or fewer goals in five of the first six home games.
Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince scored for the Islanders, who fell to 0-3-0 on the road. Halak finished with 31 saves.
Prince, playing for the first time after missing five games with a lower-body injury, tied the score at 2-2 with 4:22 remaining. Fleury left the net to play a shot into the zone but the puck caromed off the boards to Prince, who put it into an empty net.
Malkin had broken a 1-1 tie with 7:12 left in the third as he took a pass from Kessel and pulled up ahead of Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg before placing a shot between Halak’s pads.
Pittsburgh won three of four against the Islanders last season, the eighth time in nine years the Penguins won the season series. The Islanders played the second half of a back-to-back after falling at home against Montreal on Wednesday.
Hornqvist opened the scoring with a power-play goal 46 seconds into the game. Pittsburgh has scored a power-play goal in all six home games.
Crosby, standing at the left post, set up Hornqvist on the opposite side during a slick passing sequence that also involved Kessel.
Fleury kept it a one-goal game with three saves in succession on Nick Leddy’s point shot, Thomas Hickey’s redirection and a blocker stop on Josh Bailey. Prince later hit the post to the left of a sprawled Fleury on a breakaway.
The Islanders tied it late in the second period on their 28th shot. Hamonic finished a 2-on-1 from Prince, beating Fleury to the blocker side.
NOTES: G Matt Murray, who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in June, dressed as Fleury’s backup for the second straight game since returning from a broken hand sustained in last month’s World Cup of Hockey. … Penguins’ D Kris Letang missed a fourth straight game with an upper-body injury, but he participated in Thursday’s morning skate and is close to a return. … Conor Sheary (eye) missed his fourth straight game for Pittsburgh, as did Derrick Pouliot (undisclosed). . Islanders F Nikolay Kulemin missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. . Eric Boulton (lower body), Ryan Pulock (lower body) and Mathew Barzal also sat for the Islanders.
Islanders: Open a five-game homestand Sunday against Toronto on Sunday.
Penguins: Begin a four-game road trip Saturday at Philadelphia. Pittsburgh’s next home game is Nov. 8 against Edmonton.
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)