|NHL Hockey: NY Islanders at Pittsburgh|
|Written by TheSpread|
|Friday, 15 December 2006 03:46|
Bettors Say Islanders Have No Chance Against Crosby and The Penguins
After posting a career-high six points in his last game, Crosby tries for another strong showing Friday when the Penguins host the Islanders in the fifth meeting between the Atlantic Division rivals this season.
The 19-year-old phenom recorded a goal and five assists Wednesday to lead Pittsburgh (14-11-5) to an 8-4 win over Philadelphia. Crosby's previous career best was four points, which he achieved four times.
``We saw a special performance by a special player,'' Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. ``It was unbelievable. Sid was phenomenal.''
Crosby also matched his career high by scoring in his fifth straight game and has 15 points in his last six contests. That surge has helped Pittsburgh win three straight following a four-game skid.
Sergei Gonchar had two goals and three assists for the Penguins Wednesday, while Ryan Malone had a goal and three assists - both setting career highs in points.
``Part of my job is to move the puck; it's up to (my teammates) to finish the opportunities, and those guys were on tonight,'' said Crosby, who has 47 points through 27 games this season, well ahead of last year's pace of 29 at this point.
Crosby has 29 points against the Flyers during his career - his most against any opponent - and will now get the chance to improve his second-highest mark Friday versus the Islanders (15-11-3).
Crosby has six goals and 15 assists in 11 games against New York, including seven assists in three matchups this season. Marc-Andre Fleury, meanwhile, has defeated the Islanders twice this season and is 4-1-1 with a tie and a 3.04 goals-against average in seven career starts against them.
New York's Rick DiPietro is coming off a strong performance last Saturday, when he made 28 saves in a 5-4 shootout victory over Florida. He stopped all seven shots in overtime and both players in the shootout to help the Islanders win for the first time this season when trailing after two periods.
Miroslav Satan and Viktor Kozlov both scored in the shootout, while Satan also recorded a goal in regulation for New York.
``We were very fortunate to win this game, especially the way we played that second period,'' Islanders coach Ted Nolan told the team's official Web Site. ``The one good think is that we showed resilience and we found a way.''
DiPietro is 6-3-1 with a 3.31 GAA in 10 career starts against the Penguins, while Kozlov has three goals and an assist in his last two meetings with them.
The Islanders have struggled in Pittsburgh, dropping three of their last four games there. These teams have split four overall meetings this season.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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