PITTSBURGH – Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist scored power-play goals 55 seconds apart in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins gave the New York Islanders their first loss of the season, 3-1 on Saturday night.
The Islanders (4-1) had been the NHL’s last unbeaten team.
Hornqvist, who assisted on Malkin’s goal, added an empty-net tally with 1:20 left to seal the Penguins’ win. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby had two assists, including the 500th of his career.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves in the win.
Thomas Hickey staked the Islanders to a 1-0 lead in the first period, but New York failed to post its first 5-0 start. Jaroslav Halak stopped 35 shots.
The Penguins’ much-maligned, penalty-killing unit, which ranked last in the league entering Saturday, went 6-for-6 and came up with two key third-period stops to protect a one-goal lead.
That wasn’t the case Thursday when Dallas scored a game-winning, power-play goal with 2.9 seconds left.
The Penguins stiffened on Saturday, fending off the hard-charging Islanders, who nearly tied the game midway through the final period.
The game was a matchup between the NHL’s top two power-play units and bottom two penalty-killers.
Pittsburgh entered with the best power play and worst penalty kill. The Islanders were second with the man advantage and 29th when short-handed.
The teams combined for eight penalties in 9:32 in the second period, starting with the Penguins, who committed four penalties in 3:21. Pittsburgh killed the Islanders’ two-man advantage that spanning 1:26.
The Penguins got the next two-man advantage after Cory Conacher was called for hooking, and the Islanders were then caught with too many men on the ice.
Malkin tied it 1-1 at 13:49 when he put a wrist shot on goal from the left point, and then fired a drive that Hornqvist tipped past Halak with 5:16 left in the second.
Pittsburgh outshot New York 16-10 in the opening period, but the Islanders held a one-goal lead.
New York scored 5:46 in when Ryan Strome, on the rush down the right side, found the trailing Hickey, who wristed a shot over Fleury’s shoulder.
NOTES: Penguins F Pascal Dupuis played after leaving the ice on a stretcher on Thursday against Dallas when he was cross-checked in the neck and upper-back area. … The Islanders return home Tuesday against Toronto. Pittsburgh will wrap up a three-game homestand Wednesday against Philadelphia.