Penguins Drown Islanders – Kessel & Letang Score Twice

PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang and Phil Kessel each scored twice, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders 6-2 on Thursday night.

Kessel also had two assists, Sidney Crosby scored his 15th goal and had two assists, and Riley Sheahan scored his fourth goal. The Penguins have won two straight and five of eight following a slump in which they won once in 10 games.

Phil Kessel, Thomas Greiss
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Phil Kessel gets the puck behind New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Jake Guentzel had three assists and established a career-best six-game point streak for Pittsburgh.

Casey DeSmith made 19 saves to win for the fifth time in six starts.

New York’s Anders Lee scored for the fourth straight game, his 11th of the season. Brock Nelson’s 10th was a short-handed goal for the Islanders, who have one win in their last five games.

Thomas Greiss stopped 16 shots through two periods before he was replaced by Christopher Gibson, who made six saves.

After Letang scored on a give-and-go with Derick Brassard, Nelson tied it late in the first period. It was the fourth short-handed goal allowed by Pittsburgh in five games and its league-worst eighth this season.

Letang scored again with 29 seconds left in the period on a slap shot from centre point.

Sheahan batted the rebound from Evgeni Malkin’s shot to make it 3-1, and Kessel scored twice in a six-minute span later in the period. Crosby and Guentzel assisted on both goals, and Crosby added his own goal in the third period.

NOTES: Crosby has points in 15 of his last 17 games against the Islanders, and Malkin has points in 16 of 20 versus New York. … Penguins F Patric Hornqvist left the game after the first period for undisclosed reasons. … Penguins F Dominik Simon missed the game because of a lower-body injury. … Islanders G Robin Lehner skated Thursday but was not available to back up Greiss. … Pittsburgh has won four of its last five home games. … G Matt Murray and F Matt Cullen both skated prior to the game for Pittsburgh.


Islanders: Visit Detroit on Saturday.

Penguins: Begin a three-game trip Saturday at Ottawa.


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Dan Scifo, The Associated Press