The Pittsburgh Penguins scored three goals in the second period Friday night and went on to beat the reeling New York Islanders at Barclays Center, 4-0.
Daniel Sprong opened the scoring in the second and added an insurance goal in the third. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby scored later in the second for the Penguins (21-19-3), whose fifth win in the last 13 games pulled them within a point of the idle Carolina Hurricanes for the second Eastern Conference wild card spot.
Crosby had assists on the Penguins’ other three goals, and goalie Tristan Jarry stopped all 31 shots he faced in recording his second career shutout.
The Islanders (20-18-4) have lost a season-high five straight games, during which they’ve been outscored 25-8. New York may have absorbed an even bigger loss in the second period when star center Josh Bailey left with a lower body injury. Bailey earned NHL second star honors in December.
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak recorded 34 saves.
The Penguins scored the only goal they’d need 41 seconds into the second period when Crosby picked up the puck in the neutral zone, raced up the right side and dished near the faceoff circles to Sprong, who fired into the open left corner of the net as Halak was stuck leaning to the right.
Malkin extended the lead to 2-0 less than three minutes later, when he took a pass from Crosby, went to one knee at the left faceoff circle and fired a shot past the glove of Halak, who was screened by Thomas Hickey.
Crosby produced one of his signature moves to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead with 4:10 remaining in the period. After passing to Sprong, Crosby moved toward the net and was in perfect position to put back the rebound of a Sprong shot that bounced off the post.
-- Field Level Media