Bailey leads Islanders past Penguins 3-2 in shootout
NEW YORK (AP) — After setting a career high for points last season, Josh Bailey has picked up right where he left off.
Bailey scored a short-handed goal in the second period and then the only goal in a shootout to lift the New York Islanders over the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Thursday night.
Thomas Greiss made 29 saves as New York swept the home-and-home set and improved to 5-0-0 against Metropolitan Division rivals. The Islanders and Penguins both have 15 points atop the division.
“It was a good win for us. We had great goaltending and we did a lot of things well,” Bailey said. “They obviously have a really good team over there. Division games always have a little more added to them.”
Islanders captain Anders Lee gave his team a 2-1 lead at 10:11 of the third with his fifth goal of the season, assisted by Thomas Hickey and Brock Nelson.
Evgeni Malkin tied it at 2 with a power-play goal at 12:02. Kris Letang and Phil Kessel had assists on Malkin’s seventh goal, which extended his point streak to nine games.
Malkin leads the Penguins with 20 points. He has points in 10 of his 11 games this season, and 15 of his last 19 against the Islanders.
Dominik Simon scored first for the Penguins on a power play at 6:20 of the first, tapping a rebound past Greiss. Jake Guentzel and Olli Maatta assisted. Simon extended his point streak to five games with third goal of the season.
Bailey tied it with a slick short-handed goal off a splendid pass off the right boards from Casey Cizikas at 14:46 of the second.
Bailey skated in on Matt Murray before sliding the puck between the goalie’s pads for his third goal of the season to extend his point streak to seven games. The 29-year-old forward, in his 11th season with the Islanders, leads the team with 13 points. A first-round pick by New York in 2008, he had 71 points last season — 18 goals and 53 assists.
The Islanders, playing just their fourth home game of the season, were coming off a 6-3 road win over the Penguins on Tuesday and a three-game division trip with wins at Washington, Carolina and Pittsburgh. They are 4-0-1 in their last five games overall.
“It says a lot about everyone putting in the effort and putting in the work,” Lee said. “We are playing good hockey. The commitment level is there.”
Greiss especially kept the Islanders in this one with an acrobatic glove save on Kessel and a breakaway stop on defenseman Jamie Oleksiak in the second period.
“We generated a fair amount of scoring chances,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It was one of those games where there wasn’t a lot of room out there.”
Greiss also made two great saves in overtime against his former team, including a denial of defenseman Jack Johnson in front and a glove save on Kessel. The goaltender also managed to disrupt Sidney Crosby on a breakaway with a poke check.
“I guess he didn’t expect that. You’ve got to mix it up every once in a while,” said Greiss, who improved to 3-2-0. “You just react.”
Greiss’ play also impressed Islanders coach Barry Trotz.
“He made real key saves at key times, key moments for us,” Trotz said. “Those are pretty good people coming at him and he didn’t flinch.”
The Islanders outshot the Penguins 10-9 in the first period. Pittsburgh had a 13-8 advantage in the second and each team had six shots in the third. Pittsburgh had a 3-2 edge in overtime.
Sullivan agreed that credit had to go to Greiss for his performance in overtime.
“They are elite players that have great finishing ability,” Sullivan said, referring to Crosby and Kessel. “Those were two great saves.”
NOTES: Letang returned after missing Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury. By playing in his 692nd game, the 31-year-old defenseman passed former Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for eighth place on the franchise list. ... Islanders forward Jordan Eberle played his 600th career game. ... The Islanders scratched forward Ross Johnston, defenseman Luca Sbisa and goaltender Robin Lehner. ... Pittsburgh scratched defenseman Juuso Riikola.
Penguins: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Islanders: Host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.