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01/29/2013 11:26 PM EST
Islanders pound listless Penguins 4-1
NY ISLANDERS 4, PITTSBURGH 1

By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The New York Islanders are done playing
pushovers for the Pittsburgh Penguins.



Matt Moulson scored a goal and assisted on another, Evgeni
Nabokov stopped 37 shots and the Islanders dominated listless
Pittsburgh 4-1 on Tuesday night.



John Tavares scored for the second straight game for New York
while Michael Grabner collected his fourth goal of the season
and Casey Cizikas found the net for the first time in his
career.



"I don't consider any win easy but we came out and played the
game we wanted to play and I think we didn't make the game easy
for them," Tavares said.



The Islanders have won three straight against the Penguins
dating back to last season, their longest winning streak in the
series in more than five years.



Two of those victories have come on the road, something New York
hadn't done in Pittsburgh since 2002.



While the Islanders aren't getting too far ahead of themselves
just six games into the season, the way they dominated a team
considered a Stanley Cup favorite is a welcome confidence boost
following a late collapse in a loss to Winnipeg on Sunday.



"I'm sure nobody gave us much of a chance against a really good
hockey team, but you know what I thought systematically we were
a little more structured, over the last game for sure," coach
Jack Capuano said. "We were a little more sound in a lot of
areas tonight."



Pascal Dupuis scored with just over a minute remaining to avoid
the shutout but it wasn't nearly enough to keep the Penguins
from losing for the third time in their past four games.



Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 13 shots before being pulled after the
second period. Fleury and backup Tomas Vokoun received little
help from Pittsburgh's defense. The Penguins gave it away 11
times, with two of the turnovers leading to New York goals.



"I'm not sure if we're pressing early, and then it doesn't
happen and you get away from things," Pittsburgh center Sidney
Crosby said. "As you see tonight, we get a couple bad bounces,
ended up down early and seems like we let that frustration kind
of get to us."



The Penguins had scored first in each of their five games this
season, but Cizikas gave the Islanders a well-earned early lead
by stealing the puck from Paul Martin deep in Pittsburgh's zone
then swooping behind the net and wrapping it around an
outstretched Fleury.



The goal served as an exclamation point on a period the
Islanders dominated in a place they rarely win. New York came in
losers in 13 of its past 14 visits to Pittsburgh, the victory a
5-3 triumph last March that derailed any hopes the Penguins had
of catching the New York Rangers for the Atlantic Division
title.



Pittsburgh expects to be in the mix again during this truncated
48-game season but has hit an early rough patch that left the
largest crowd in the brief history of Consol Energy Center
voicing its displeasure following another disjointed effort.



The Penguins were drummed 5-2 by Toronto in the home opener last
Wednesday and appeared no sharper six days later against another
young, quick team that flustered Pittsburgh with its
forechecking.



"We want to be a team that plays with pace and tough to play
against and make teams come out of their own end and play a full
200-foot game," Tavares said. "When we're skating and getting on
the forecheck, that's when we're most successful and that's what
we've been doing and I think that was evident tonight."



Not that the Penguins needed any help giving it away.



The Islanders went up 2-0 at 6:46 of the second period when
Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland misplayed a New York
clearing attempt at the blue line.



The puck bounced off Engelland's stick and the speedy Grabner
pounced, beating two Penguins up the ice then flicking a wrist
shot that deflected off Fleury's glove and into the net.



The goal seemed to briefly energize Pittsburgh, who spent the
next five minutes buzzing Nabokov. All the pressure failed to
produce a goal and a pair of power-play tallies by the Islanders
late in the period put New York firmly in control.



Tavares wristed a pretty cross-ice pass from Moulson by Fleury
to make it 3-0 and Moulson scored less than two minutes later,
collecting a long shot off the end boards and stuffing it by a
foundering Fleury.



The goaltender actually fell on his rear after the initial shot
and failed to get up before Moulson stuffed it by him, a fitting
ending to a maddening night.



Nabokov had no such problems. He improved to 10-2 lifetime
against Pittsburgh, which went 0 for 3 on the power play,
including a fruitless 5 minutes spanning the second and third
periods after New York's Colin McDonald was hit with a boarding
penalty and a game misconduct for his hit on Penguins defenseman
Ben Lovejoy.



"We definitely deflated ourselves with the power play,"
Pittsburgh's James Neal said. "But we've just got to have a
better effort all over the ice, 5-on-5 and we just didn't have
it tonight."



NOTES: Islanders F Jesse Joensuu is out 5 to 7 weeks after
having sports hernia surgery. Joensuu sustained the injury while
playing in Europe during the NHL lockout ... Pittsburgh D Mat
Niskanen is day to day with a right foot injury ... The Penguins
announced earlier Tuesday that Consol Energy Center will host
the second USA Hockey All-American Prospects game on Sept. 26,
2013 ... The Islanders play at New Jersey on Thursday while the
Penguins play in New York against the Rangers.

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