Rolling Isles finish weekend sweep of Pens

Uniondale, NY ( - John Tavares recorded a goal and an assist as the New York Islanders got the better of the Pittsburgh Penguins once again with a 4-1 decision at Nassau Coliseum.

Tavares, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all scored in the third period and Jaroslav Halak came up with 27 saves to help the red-hot Islanders complete a home-and-home sweep of the Penguins.

New York, winners in eight of its last nine, bested the Pens in a 5-4 shootout in Pittsburgh on Friday.

"We really simplified our game in the third period," said Lee. "The last six or eight games, when we have that lead, we keep it really simple and it limits our mistakes."

The Penguins mustered only Evgeni Malkin's first-period goal in dropping consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 22-23. Thomas Greiss posted 31 saves in the loss.

Pittsburgh had carried a 1-0 lead deep into the second period behind Malkin's score and strong work out of Greiss, who stopped the first 21 shots he faced before a failed clearing attempt by Pittsburgh in front of its own net led to New York's Matt Martin connecting on a backhand try with just under two minutes remaining in the middle session.

"That was a big goal at the end of the second period," said Tavares. "That line has been playing real well for us. You saw how tenacious they were and how hungry they were in front of the net. They kept that play alive."

The Islanders carried the momentum into the third, moving ahead when Lee successfully redirected Lubomir Visnovsky's blast from the point 2:38 into the frame.

Nelson made it a two-goal advantage just over seven minutes later, tipping home an on-target feed from Frans Nielsen on a power play after Tavares created the scoring opportunity in the Pittsburgh zone.

Tavares later put the contest out of reach by depositing a rebound of Johnny Boychuk's long drive into an open left side with 4:14 left to play.

"We didn't give a very big push in the third period to give ourselves a chance to win," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. "They raised their level and we didn't."

Malkin had the lone goal of an otherwise evenly played opening period. After taking in a pass sent from the boards from Patric Hornqvist, the star forward skated into the left circle and slipped a shot by Halak with 3:11 left in the stanza.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh had won in four straight and seven of its last eight visits to Long Island coming in ... Crosby managed just one shot after being held without one in Friday's matchup ... Tavares scored for the first time in his last 11 regular-season meetings with Pittsburgh ... Nelson's goal was his team-best 10th of the season.