Late goal lifts Islanders over Penguins
After losing twice on goals in the closing minutes during their recent road trip, the New York Islanders were relieved to get a late win after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.
Anders Lee scored the tiebreaking goal with 27 seconds remaining to lift the Islanders to a 5-3 victory over the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Thomas Hickey took a pass from Johnny Boychuk and fired a slap shot from the point that deflected off Lee’s stick and past goalie Matt Murray.
“We had that puck luck,” Lee said. “We just have to grind it out. Tonight we were able to come through with a game-winning goal. Was a great shot and I was able to tip in. We’ve faced enough adversity for a season. Tonight we were able to find a way.”
Hickey called it “relief more than elation,’” adding, “It was nice to get something to go our way . ... It was a great pass by Johnny and a great tip by Anders.”
Then, with Murray pulled on the ensuing faceoff, Nikolay Kulemin scored into the empty net 3 seconds later to seal the win and give the Islanders consecutive victories for the second time this season.
Boychuk, Jason Chimera and Casey Cizikas also scored, and Thomas Greiss made 31 saves.
New York, which lost twice on goals in the final 3 minutes of regulation at Los Angeles and San Jose last week before beating Calgary at home in overtime on Monday, has won three of five.
Conor Sheary, Justin Schultz and Evgeni Malkin scored in the first 13:08 of the third period to tie the score for the Penguins. Murray finished with 25 saves.
“Sometimes you can try to work your way back but it doesn’t always work out that way,” Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby said. “We were able to tie it up and unfortunately not at least force overtime.”