UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Sidney Crosby scored the only goal of the shootout to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 comeback victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Casey DeSmith made 26 saves for the victory, including five stops in overtime plus all three of the Islanders’ attempts in the shootout.
Mathew Barzal had given the Islanders a 3-2 late in the third period before Evgeni Malkin tied it for the Penguins with 18 seconds remaining.
Barzal scored his fifth goal of the season on a tremendous individual effort, maneuvering the puck around and past defenseman Pierre-Oliver Joseph before beating DeSmith over the shoulder at 13:35. Barzal leads the Islanders with 13 points and has a seven-game points streak.
Casey Cizikas and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Islanders, who lost for the first time in four home games at Nassau Coliseum. Semyon Varlamov made 32 saves for the Islanders, but couldn’t stop Crosby in the shootout.
Malkin’s tying goal, his third of the season, came with DeSmith pulled for an extra attacker. Malkin has 80 points, including 32 goals, in 66 career games against Islanders.
Bryan Rust and Zach Aston-Reese had the Penguins’ other goals.
Cizikas opened the scoring for the Islanders with a spectacular goal, his third this season, at 5:39 of the first. Cizikas outmuscled Penguins defenseman John Marino for a loose puck before sliding it past DeSmith as he was falling. Cal Clutterbuck and Ryan Pulock had assists.
Pittsburgh tied it at 11:47 when Rust completed a pretty passing play from Crosby and Jake Guentzel for his third this season.
With the assist, Crosby continued to add to his totals against the Islanders. The 33-year-old center has more points against the Islanders (115) than any other active player against a single team. Crosby has 36 goals and 69 assists in 69 regular-season games against the Islanders — with a 42-18-9 record in those games.
Pageau put the Islanders ahead 2-1 when he tipped in Nick Leddy’s shot from the point at 16:40 of the first. The goal was Pageau’s second this season and his first tally in nine games. Josh Bailey also assisted.
Aston-Reese tied it for a second time, scoring in his season debut for the Penguins. Aston-Reese slipped the puck past Varlamov on a backhand wraparound at 7:03 of the second period. Teddy Blueger assisted. Aston-Reese had shoulder surgery last August, which delayed his return to the lineup.
The Islanders were coming off 2-0 win over the Rangers on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Penguins had been off since losing 4-3 the Islanders last Saturday at Nassau Coliseum. Pittsburgh had to reschedule two games against the New Jersey Devils due to COVID-19 protocols.
The contest was the second of six between the division rivals this month.
The Islanders have three players with consecutive game streaks of at least 240 games with Anders Lee 280, Brock Nelson 257 and Barzal at 244.
Crosby played career game No. 996. The only active player with six 100-point seasons, Crosby has 466 goals and 1,273 points overall during his 16-year NHL career after the Penguins selected him first overall in the 2005 draft.
Islanders: Host the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
Penguins: Host the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon.