Sluggish showing enough to beat Islanders because ‘great players are great’

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Patric Hornqvist is congratulated by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel after his goal in the first period. — GETTY

One day earlier, Mike Sullivan reamed out his team during a lackluster practice.

The Penguins' leadership group subsequently held a meeting about the team's uneven start to the season and the horrendous practice Wednesday.

That leadership group did more than talk Thursday night. Four of the Penguins' top leaders scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury stood on his head as the Penguins overcame another shaky performance to defeat the Islanders, 4-2, at PPG Paints Arena.

"The mark of a good team is having a few great players," Ian Cole said. "Great teams win when their great players are great. You can see how special those guys are when they get their opportunities. Those guys are our heart and soul. That's what happens when they step up. They carry us to wins."