Islanders captain Alexei Yashin was enjoying a three-point night, but he was in the penalty box when Gonchar took a pass from Ryan Whitney and ripped a shot in off the right post. Pittsburgh went 3-for-8 on the power play, using the advantage to take a 2-0 lead and then to win after falling behind in the second period.
Malkin scored his second goal in two NHL games to tie it 3-3 in the third, and the 19-year-old Crosby had three assists to help Pittsburgh snap a two-game losing streak.
Crosby dug the puck out from behind the net and found Malkin with a pass near the right post. Malkin wasted no time in knocking a shot past surprised goalie Mike Dunham to tie it 8:08 into the third period.
After the Islanders fell behind 2-0 early in the period, Yashin scored his third of the season with 4:17 left to cut the deficit in half. He then earned the primary assists on power-play goals by Mike Sillinger and Jason Blake 1:09 apart.
But it wasn't enough to give Dunham his third win in four starts in place of Rick DiPietro, who is nursing a groin injury. DiPietro, in the first month of a 15-year contract with New York, sat on the bench but is still a few days away from game action.
Dunham made 32 saves to earn a point for the Islanders and has been solid during DiPietro's absence.
The 34-year-old journeyman, in his first season with the Islanders, allowed four goals on 50 shots at Anaheim on Oct. 11 to give New York its first win of the season after DiPietro lost three straight. Dunham made 31 saves in beating Boston three nights later in the home opener, before dropping a 2-1 shootout decision to Nashville on Monday night.
Michel Ouellet gave Pittsburgh the lead 8:24 into the game with a power-play goal, set up Crosby and Malkin. Nils Ekman netted the Penguins' seventh man-advantage goal in 31 chances this season at 4:55 of the second.
Malkin, the 20-year-old Russian selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2004 draft, scored his first NHL goal in a 2-1 home loss to New Jersey on Wednesday. Crosby, the first overall choice in last year's draft, snapped a two-game pointless streak.
Yashin started the New York comeback by finishing off a give-and-go passing play with Viktor Kozlov. Yashin took the return feed and fired into the open left side of the net before Marc-Andre Fleury could slide across.
Sillinger tied it 1:40 later with a quick shot that hit the glove of Fleury, popped up and fell behind the goalie before he could get it.
New York then grabbed a 3-2 lead when Blake got hold of the puck in the crease, after it pinballed between his skate and Fleury, and knocked it in with 1:28 left in the second period.
Notes: Fleury has started six straight games, a career high for the third-year goalie. He made 34 saves. ... Crosby had six goals and 14 points in eight games against the Islanders during his rookie season. ... DiPietro hasn't played since allowing four goals on 40 shots on Oct. 10 at Los Angeles.