Jordan Staal added an empty net goal at the end of the third period to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders. It was the Pens fourth win in a row and they improved to 7-2-2, leading the Atlantic Division with 16 points in this first month of the 2011-12 season.
Staal’s sixth goal of the season came on an assist by Pascal Dupuis, who was dominant Tuesday night. Dupuis scored in the first, and nearly had a another goal in the first when his shot trickled past Evgeniv Nabokov but was swept away before it was able to cross the line.
It was the third win in a row with Marc-Andre Fleury in net. The Pens’ netminder had given up just one goal in his previous two starts. He was even better tonight, shutting out an Islanders team that put 33 shots on goal. Fleury was magnificent all evening, smothering several quality Isles chances for his league leading sixth win of the season and his 20th career shutout.
In his return to ice after a being sidelined for more than a week with a knee injury, Evgeni Malkin saw just over 19 minutes of ice time in 20 shifts. The star center was active all evening and looked healthy.
The Penguins now come back to Pittsburgh for the second leg of a home-and-home against the Islanders. New York travels to Consol Energy Center on Thursday as the Pens go for five in a row.