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Canadian Press
11/28/2006 10:06:29 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sidney Crosby returned from a three-game injury layoff to set up Colby Armstrong's first two goals of the season, and the Pittsburgh Penguins held on to beat the New York Islanders 3-2 Tuesday night.

Chris Thorburn, normally a checking line forward, scored the game-winner 36 seconds into the third period with a seemingly harmless shot from behind the net that banked off goalie Rick DiPietro's left skate for his second goal.

Marc-Andre Fleury made the lead stand up by turning aside 33 of 35 shots, 13 in the final period, as Pittsburgh halted a three-game skid. The Islanders had won three in a row and were 6-1-1 in their previous eight games, but were without leading scorer Alexei Yashin. He is expected to be out two to four weeks with a sprained knee.

Crosby hadn't played since Nov. 20 because of a sore groin after previously missing only one game in his two-season NHL career. He didn't take long to make a difference in a Penguins offence that was limited to five goals in the three losses, making a strong pass in traffic to create Armstrong's first goal 1½ minutes into the game.

Armstrong began the season playing alongside Crosby after scoring 16 goals in 47 games as a rookie last season, but was taken off the top line before Crosby was hurt because of his lack of production.

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