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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sidney Crosby finished off a 2-on-1 by burying a shot past Chris Gibson 3:48 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Derick Brassard’s first goal with Pittsburgh tied it with less than nine minutes to go in regulation. The Penguins killed off a penalty early in the extra period before Crosby’s 22nd goal of the season helped Pittsburgh snap a three-game losing streak.
Patric Hornqvist added his 18th goal of the season for the Penguins. Phil Kessel picked up two assists to become the sixth American-born player to reach 400 career assists. Tristan Jarry overcame an ugly start to finish with 25 saves.
Brandon Davidson scored his first goal with New York since being acquired in a trade last week, and Anders Lee added his team-leading 31st. Gibson was spectacular at times in his first NHL start in nearly two years. He finished with 47 saves but couldn’t get a handle on Crosby’s winner. The Islanders have dropped six straight.
The Penguins were coming off an ugly 8-4 setback in Boston on Thursday night, one that extended their losing streak to three and blunted their recent surge toward the top of the Metropolitan Division. Coach Mike Sullivan, rarely hesitant to shake things up during even the slightest of downturns, opted for minor tweaks instead of major ones.
Pittsburgh called up forward Dominik Simon and put him on the third line, and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel earned his first start since Dec. 27. Other than that, Sullivan kept the status quo, confident his team’s issue isn’t personnel but performance. If the play in front of his team’s net improved, Sullivan figured the rest would take care of itself.
The Islanders took the lead just 1:11 into the game when Jarry lost his edge trying to backpedal, fell on his rear and watched helplessly as the rolling puck slipped underneath his pads and into the net.
The advantage held nearly 40 minutes thanks to Gibson. Making just his fifth NHL start and first since April 10, 2016, Gibson spent the first two periods trying to make up for lost time. The Penguins peppered the net for long stretches but didn’t break through until Kessel set up Hornqvist with a slick backhand pass that Hornqvist tapped in for his first goal since signing a five-year contract extension on Tuesday.
Lee put New York back ahead 4:59 into the third when his chip from in front went wide of the net only to carom off Pittsburgh defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and past Jarry.
Brassard responded by camping himself in front of Gibson and jamming home a rebound 11:29 into the third to set up a frantic finish.
NOTES: Pittsburgh G Matt Murray missed his third straight game since getting a concussion in practice Wednesday. … Pittsburgh scratched D Matt Hunwick, F Carter Rowney and C Zach Aston-Reese. … New York scratched Ds Dennis Seidenberg and Sebastian Aho and F Ross Johnston. … The Islanders went 0 for 2 on the power play. The Penguins were 1 for 2. … Pittsburgh is 7-1-1 in its last nine games against New York.
Islanders: Begin swing through Western Canada on Monday in Vancouver.
Penguins: Host Calgary on Monday.
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