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Islanders dominate Penguins and sweep up three-game road trip

Even Tom Kuhnhackl knocks in a goal against his former team.

Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates with

Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates with New York Islanders center Valtteri Filppula (51) after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.  Photo Credit: AP/Don Wright

PITTSBURGH — Tom Kuhnhackl laughed at the notion he would receive a tribute video from his former team. Then he shrugged off a pregame question asking what it would be like to score a goal against the Penguins.

Both happened.

“Scoring and winning, that’s just the cherry on top of the cake,” Kuhnhackl said after the Islanders’ emotional 6-3 win at a somber PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night.

Kuhnhackl, a fourth-liner playing with Cal Clutterbuck injured, scored a third-period goal to stem the Penguins’ momentum as the Islanders (6-4-1) swept a three-game road trip against Metropolitan Division foes and ended a stretch of eight of their first 11 on the road.

“People talk about we’re a young team and we lost JT [John Tavares],” said right wing Jordan Eberle, who scored two of the Islanders’ three second-period goals as they took a 5-2 lead, snapping the Penguins' four-game winning streak. “We have a lot of guys who know how to win. We’re just trying to keep playing the same way.”

The game was preceded by a ceremony mourning the loss of 11 lives at a mass shooting at the nearby Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday.

The Islanders play 8 of 13 at home in November, starting with the Penguins (6-2-2) on Thursday night at Barclays Center.

Neither starting goalie finished the game.

The Penguins’ Matt Murray was pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots in 31:56 and Robin Lehner exited with a strain after making 23 saves in two periods.

Kuhnhackl, who won two Stanley Cups in three seasons with the Penguins before signing a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Islanders, was honored for his time in Pittsburgh with a video tribute during a stoppage at 6:18 of the second period concluding with “Thank You Tom Kuhnhackl.”

He collected a rebound off the left post and banked a shot past Casey DeSmith (14 saves) at 9:44 of the third period for his first point in four games as an Islander to make it 6-3.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” Kuhnhackl said. “I didn’t have that many highlights that they could’ve put on that video.”

Matt Martin gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead at 9:32 of the second period and Eberle chased Murray with a power-play goal at 11:56. Eberle then made it 5-2 at 13:49 of the second period on a goal that withstood an offside challenge by the Penguins to give the Islanders five goals on 10 shots.

The Islanders surrendered a two-goal lead in the first period, which coach Barry Trotz called the team’s worst of the season.

Notes & quotes: Right wing Josh Bailey extended his point streak to six games with an assist . . . Thomas Greiss made 12 saves in relief of Lehner . . . Clutterbuck (upper body) missed his second straight game.

New York Sports