Crosby brilliance finishes Islanders


Sidney Crosby went through a cluster of New York Islanders like they weren’t even there.

With the puck on his stick in overtime, all he saw was the net. And then he hit it.

Crosby, who scored the tying goal in the third period, netted the winner with a brilliant individual effort 3:44 into overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Tuesday night.

He stole the puck from Thomas Vanek just outside the New York blue line, streaked down the middle between two defenseman and jammed a backhander past Anders Nilsson for his 15th goal.

“The puck just came to me, and I found a way,” Crosby said. “I had some time to wind up and get some speed. It was a good situation.

“I didn’t notice how many guys were hanging on me. I just went for the net.”

Simple enough for Sid the Kid, who had made it 2-2 with 12:00 left in regulation by firing in a one-timer from the right circle off a pass from Evgeni Malkin.

Nilsson was the hard-luck loser in overtime for the second straight game. New York, which has dropped seven straight (0-5-2), gave up the lead late to Washington on Saturday and was beaten in overtime on a goal by Alex Ovechkin.

“Every goal you let in is frustrating,” said Nilsson, who made 31 saves in his seventh NHL game. “I thought I should have had the winner from Ovi and I should have the winner tonight.”

Malkin assisted on power-play goals by James Neal and Crosby to back Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 21 saves. His best stop came on Frans Nielsen’s penalty shot in the third when New York led 2-1.

If a standard penalty was called instead of a penalty shot, it would have wiped out the rest of the Penguins’ power play that produced the tying goal.

“That definitely might have changed things,” Crosby said.

Kyle Okposo scored twice in the first period for the Islanders, who are third from the bottom in the East.

Stars 4, Blackhawks 3

In Chicago, Kari Lehtonen had a season-high 47 saves, Antoine Roussel converted a penalty shot in the third period and Dallas snapped the Blackhawks’ six-game winning streak.

Coyotes 6, Oilers 2

In Edmonton, Mike Ribeiro and Mikkel Boedker each had a goal and two assists as Phoenix started off a four-game road trip with a victory over the Oilers.

Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan, Keith Yandle and David Moss also scored for the Coyotes.

Sharks 4, Maple Leafs 2

In Toronto, Mike Brown had a goal against his former team and Joe Thornton scored on a 5-on-3 power play, leading San Jose to its sixth straight win.

Blue Jackets 1, Lightning 0

In Columbus, Nick Foligno scored a highlight-reel goal in the second period and Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney made it stand up.

Hurricanes 4, Capitals 1

In Washington, Jeff Skinner had two goals and an assist, Justin Peters stopped 26 shots and Carolina cruised past the Capitals.

Senators 4, Panthers 2

In Sunrise, Florida, Colin Greening scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Craig Anderson stopped 30 shots.

Canucks 3, Predators 1

In Nashville, Ryan Kesler scored a pair of third-period goals.

Kings 3, Ducks 2 (SO)

In Anaheim, Martin Jones made 26 saves and stopped all eight shootout attempts to win his NHL debut, and Dwight King scored the only shootout goal for triumphant Los Angeles.