PITTSBURGH -- Jack Capuano knew what his New York Islanders were up against.
The coach watched his team blow two-goal leads in each of their previous two games. Furthermore, they were playing in a city where their visits have been almost always fruitless in recent years.
Yet the Islanders got a rare win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, and there was no doubt about the identity of the better team. New York rode Evgeni Nabokov's 37 saves and goals from four different players to a 4-1 victory over the Penguins at Consol Energy Center.
"I don't think too many would have given us a chance in this one," Capuano said.
Probably not. The Penguins had won 14 of their previous 15 home games against the Islanders.
However, Matt Moulson had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, and Casey Cizikas, Michael Grabner and John Taveras also scored for the Islanders (3-2-1). Frans Nielsen had two assists.
Nabokov came within 1:09 of the 52nd shutout of his 12-year career before Pascal Dupuis scored his second goal of the season.
"It was a really good team win for us," Capuano said. "We played well defensively, offensive and Nabby was outstanding. That's the way you have to play if you want to come out of here with a win."
New York was coming off a particularly difficult loss two nights earlier in Winnipeg. The Islanders blew a two-goal lead late in the third period then lost overtime.
"The past few years we've gotten off to really good starts and then hit a lull and it's been hard to recover from that," said Taveras, whose Islanders have not been to the Stanley Cup playoffs in six years. "That's why this is a really good win for us. This is something we should be able to build momentum from. It feels good to walk out of this building with a win."
The announced crowd of 18,657 was the largest in Consol Energy Center's three-year history, but the home fans began booing midway through the second period. The jeers continued throughout much of the third as Pittsburgh, considered strong Stanley Cup favorites coming into the season, fell to 3-3 overall, 0-2 at home.
The Penguins failed to convert three power-play opportunities in the first period as they fell behind 1-0 and coach Dan Bylsma cited that as the game's turning point.
"We did not have good puck movement, we did not have good execution and it was that was the rest of the night" Bylsma said. "We seemed to lose our enthusiasm after that."
Cizikas opened the scoring at 16:01 of the first period when he corralled a loose puck behind the net then beat Marc Andre-Fleury to the glove side with a wraparound goal. It was Cizikas' first goal of the season.
The Islanders then broke things open with a three-goal second period.
Grabner scored his fourth goal on a breakaway at 6:46, knocking his snap shot off Fleury's glove and into the net.
The Islanders cashed in on two power plays late in the period to increase the lead to 4-0. Taveras scored on a snap shot from the right faceoff circle on a pretty cross-ice pass from Moulson at 15:22 and Moulson then scored 1:53 later on a wrister off a backhanded pass from Brad Boyes, who was at the left side of the net to haul in a rebound off the glass behind the goal.
Fleury was lifted after the second period, having allowed four goals on 17 shots. He was replaced by Tomas Vokoun, who stopped all seven shots he faces in the third period.
The Islanders killed a five-minute power play early in the third period that resulted from Colin McDonald receiving a major boarding penalty. McDonald also drew a game misconduct.
"When you play a team that has the skill and talent of the Penguins you know you're going to play in your own zone quite a bit," Islanders center Marty Reasoner said. "We did a good job of filling the passing lanes and shooting lanes. We wanted to force them out onto the perimeter as much as possible."
NOTES: Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen will miss at least two weeks and possibly a month because of an undisclosed lower body injury. He was injured Sunday when he crashed skates first into the boards during the first period of a win at Ottawa. Defenseman Simon Depres took Niskanen's spot in the starting lineup. ... Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic was back in the lineup two days after suffering a sprained ankle in an overtime loss at Winnipeg and was on the ice for 25:06 ... New York forward Jesse Joensuu will miss from five-to-seven weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery. Joensuu has not played this season after being injured while playing in Finland during the lockout. ... Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (knee) is hopeful of being able to start practicing with the team next week after sitting out the first six games. ... Penguins center Eric Tangradi, who failed to score a point in five games, was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo was also scratched by Pittsburgh. ... Healthy scratches for the Islanders were left wing Eric Boulton, defenseman Radek Martinek and defenseman Joe Finley.