MALONE, CROSBY, RECCHI POWER PENGUINS PAST ISLANDERS
Sidney Crosby, Ryan Malone and Mark Recchi – call it the “Milestone Line.”
All three players accomplished landmark feats Friday night in the Penguins’ 7-4 romp over the Islanders at Mellon Arena.
That line accounted for 11 points on the night to lead the Penguins to their fourth-straight victory.
Crosby had a goal and three assists. He now has 19 points (6+13) in his last seven games. He has scored at least one goal in six-straight games – a career high. He now has an NHL-leading 51 points (16+35) in 28 games.
Recchi also had a goal and three assists – including the 800th helper of his distinguished career much to the delight of the Mellon Arena crowd
“It’s nice. This is my home now. To have that is a pretty nice feeling,” he said. “It’s a lot of assists and I am excited about it, but I am more excited about getting another win and put ourselves in a better spot to make the playoffs.”
And, Malone tallied the first hat-trick of his career.
“I’ll take it, that’s for sure. Sid made some great plays there,” he said. “My job is just to try to find the back of the net and, tonight, I did a good job of it.
“He does a good job 1-on-1 – not too many guys are going to take the puck from him. So, my job is to find an open spot and bury it.”
Malone got the Penguins on the scoreboard 7:22 into the first period. Streaking down the left wing, he took a cross-ice pass from Crosby and wristed it past Rick DiPietro. Recchi added an assist.
Miroslav Satan tied the game with a power-play goal with 7:36 on the clock.
The Penguins retaliated 11 seconds later when Crosby found the back of the net. His pass for Recchi ricocheted off two Islanders defensemen and sailed into the back of the goal. Recchi and Ryan Whitney earned the assists.
Recchi wristed a power-play goal past DiPietro with 3:28 left in the period for a 3-1 Penguins advantage. Nils Ekman and Evgeni Malkin assisted on the play.
Jordan Staal fired in a goal 5:52 into the second period for a 4-1 Penguins advantage. Dominic Moore had the assist.
Max Talbot made it 5-1 just 27 seconds later. On a 2-on-1 break, he poked in his own rebound for a short-handed tally. Josef Melichar and Colby Armstrong assisted on the goal.
Malone boosted the Penguins’ lead to 6-1 just 8:45 into the third period. Crosby and Recchi assisted on the play. It was Recchi’s 800th NHL assist,New York rallied for a three-goal spurt, including two power-play tallies, in a 3:21 span midway through the third period.
Malone sealed the verdict with his third goal of the game with 4:26 left on the clock. Crosby set up the play with several acrobatic spinning moves along the boards. He circled around the far side of the net and found Malone all alone in the front. He buried the puck into the net.
Jocelyn Thibault stopped 28 of 32 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Penguins.
The Penguins return to action Saturday in Montreal.
ICE CHIPS: Erik Christensen and Ronald Petrovicky were the Penguins scratches…The announced attendance was 17,028…Ryan Malone (No. 1), Mark Recchi (No. 2) and Sidney Crosby (No. 3) were the game’s three stars.