Final

Series (Game 3 of 6)

Pittsburgh leads 5-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 8th
Penguins4Final
SO
Islanders3
Game 2: Wednesday, November 26th
Penguins5Final
Islanders3
Game 3: Thursday, December 11th
Islanders2Final
Penguins9
Game 4: Monday, February 16th
Penguins2Final
SO
Islanders3
Game 5: Wednesday, February 25th
Islanders0Final
Penguins1
Game 6: Thursday, April 9th
Islanders1Final
Penguins6

Islanders 2

(10-17-2, 22 pts)

Penguins 9

(16-9-4, 36 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 11, 2008

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
NYI 1 0 12
PIT 4 4 19

P. Sykora (Penguins - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 1

P. Dupuis (Penguins - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

M. Satan (Penguins - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Pens ride Sykora, Dupuis hat tricks past Islanders

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Scoring three goals felt as good to Petr Sykora as he always believed it would. No longer having to hear that he lacked a hat trick might feel even better.

Fast Facts

• The Penguins improved to 9-2-0 in their last 10 games against the Islanders, including four straight wins. They also have a 6-1-3 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.

• Pittsburgh has scored 69 goals in its last 18 games, including 15 goals in its last four.

• Evgeni Malkin has 45 points (11 goals, 34 assists) in his last 25 games and has scored in 22 of them.

• New York fell to 1-7-0 in its last eight games and is 7-16-2 against the Eastern Conference this season.

-- ESPN research

Sykora ended the longest streak in NHL history without a hat trick by a player who had at least two goals in a game and Pascal Dupuis also scored three times, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins' 9-2 rout of the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist and Sidney Crosby set up three goals in Pittsburgh's first nine-goal game since beating the Flyers 9-4 on Feb. 7, 2001. Pittsburgh had lost its previous three. The Islanders dropped their season-high fifth in a row and allowed nine goals for the first time since Dec. 19, 2005, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sykora previously had 38 games with two goals without getting a third, far surpassing the 28 games by Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Murphy, who played for the Penguins' Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

Sykora long had a routine following two-goal games -- he insisted it didn't matter he had never scored three. Turns out, it did.

"I won't have to talk about it [not scoring three] anymore. It is a relief. As much as I talked that it didn't bother me, it did bother me, and now I feel pretty good," said Sykora, who also had an assist during his sixth career four-point game, also his personal high.

It was the seventh time in Penguins history that two players had hat tricks in a game and the first since Mario Lemieux and Joey Mullen accomplished it April 9, 1993, against the New York Rangers.

Sykora put Pittsburgh ahead 3-1 by scoring 19 seconds after Mark Streit's goal for the Islanders briefly cut Pittsburgh's lead to one goal, and then followed goals by Philippe Boucher and Malkin by scoring at 7:53 of the second on a power play to make it 6-1.

"This was one of those nights the puck kept coming to me," Sykora said.

With his teammates pressing to get him the long-elusive third goal, Sykora looked to have scored it from the side of the net two minutes later. But the play was waved off and, afterward, Sykora said Ruslan Fedotenko probably would have been credited with the goal even if it counted.

Sykora finally got No. 3 at 15:42 of the second, also on a power play, when Crosby put a pass on his stick in the slot and Sykora wristed it by goalie Yann Danis, who replaced Joey MacDonald to begin the second period.

"You're looking for a guy when he's got two goals, especially with that score, you might force it more than you normally would," Crosby said. "He knows where to go and I just put it on his stick."

Sykora leaped into Crosby's arms to celebrate, triggering a brief delay to clear the scores of hats that were tossed onto the ice. It was his 10th goal.

"I can't say enough about Sid, he told me the play -- he's going to walk down the right side and he's going to give it to me," Sykora said. "Sid made that play."

Dupuis' third goal, and sixth of the season, came with 3:12 remaining as he scored Pittsburgh's first and last goals.

"Syk, he waited a little longer than me, but I think we'll both remember that game we both scored our first hat tricks," said Dupuis, who previously had three games with two goals.

The one-sided game was welcomed by the Penguins, who were playing their third game in four nights and their seventh in 11 days. Their losing streak was their longest since they lost four straight from Nov. 7-12, 2007.

Penguins rookie John Curry stopped 24 shots to get the victory in his second career start. His only two career victories in three NHL games are against the Islanders. Curry beat them in relief on Nov. 26.

New York's losing streak is its longest in regulation this season, although it was 0-5-1 from Oct. 18 to Nov. 1.

"I've got to be better, I'd like to have at least two of them back," said MacDonald, who gave up four goals on 19 shots in the first period. "That got them going, and then poor [Danis] went in there and kind of got hung out to dry."

Game notes


Crosby has 11 goals and 30 assists in 23 games against the Islanders. ... New York allowed seven goals or more for the second time in seven games. ... Crosby has gone six games without a goal since scoring three against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 29. ... Boucher, injured for six games, scored his first with Pittsburgh.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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