PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins admit they have a tendency to get so enamored with their own firepower they forget to do the little things.
Like, say, play defense.
Sometimes they can get away with it. Tuesday night wasn't one of those times.
Frans Nielsen scored twice and the New York Islanders broke a 13-game losing streak in Pittsburgh with a 5-3 win, effectively counterattacking when the Penguins got a little too aggressive.
"We got what we deserved tonight," Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby said.
Michael Grabner, David Ullstrom and Kyle Okposo also scored, and Josh Bailey had three assists to help the Islanders end Pittsburgh's 10-game home winning streak with ease.
"It's good to know we can win in this building," Nielsen said.
The Islanders never had in their previous trips to Consol Energy Center. They hadn't won in the Steel City since Dec. 21, 2007 when the Penguins were playing across the street in the Civic Arena.
James Neal scored twice for the Penguins - who lost despite outshooting the Islanders 54-25 - and Tyler Kennedy added a goal while Evgeni Malkin had two assists to push his point total to an NHL-leading 99.
Marc-Andre Fleury gave up five goals on 18 shots before being replaced in the third by Brad Thiessen. Fleury was shaken up after colliding with teammate Paul Martin during Nielsen's second goal but said he's fine and should be OK when the teams meet again on Thursday.
The sooner the Penguins can get back on the ice, the better. They hoped a home-and-home set with the lowly Islanders would provide four easy points in their chase of the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh trails the Rangers by three points with six games left in the regular season.
Pittsburgh has dominated the Islanders over the last few years, the two points earned for a victory a nearly foregone conclusion. Pittsburgh came in 18-2-2 in its last 22 games against New York and hadn't lost to the Islanders in more than four years.
New York hadn't put up much of a fight this season no matter the venue. The Penguins won all four previous meetings, including Crosby's spectacular four-point night in his season debut on Nov. 21.
Yet with Pittsburgh streaking toward the playoffs trying to track down the Rangers, the Islanders were in no mood to roll over.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 30 of 32 shots before leaving at the start of the third period with a lower-body injury. Al Montoya stayed busy in relief, turning aside 21-of-22 shots as the Islanders wrapped up a season-long road trip with an impressive 4-1 record.
The Penguins injury issues continued as defenseman Ben Lovejoy will miss 3-4 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday. Lovejoy injured the knee in the first period of a 5-2 win over New Jersey on Sunday.
Coach Dan Bylsma said defenseman Kris Letang didn't play because of a lower-body injury he suffered Sunday. Bylsma says it does not appear to be related to the concussion that sidelined Letang for several weeks earlier this season.
The Penguins recalled Simon Despres and Brian Strait from Wilkes Barre/Scranton to fill in on Tuesday.