PITTSBURGH – Evgeni Malkin picked up two assists to lengthen his lead in the NHL scoring race and the Pittsburgh Penguins stayed in contention for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, beating the Islanders 6-1 Thursday night to assure New York of finishing with the NHL’s worst record.

Malkin has 112 points – four more than last season’s scoring champion, Alex Ovechkin of Washington. Both players have one game remaining. Ovechkin went scoreless during the Capitals’ 4-2 victory at Tampa Bay.

The Penguins improved to 17-3-4 under interim coach Dan Bylsma and tied Carolina and Philadelphia with 97 points each in the race to finish fourth in the Eastern Conference and gain the home-ice edge for at least one playoff round.


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