UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The New York Islanders were 18 seconds away from a win, but two of the biggest thorns in the side of the Isles forced overtime and then defeated them in the shootout.
Evgeni Malkin scored the tying goal with 18 seconds left in the game and then Sidney Crosby buried his shootout attempt to help Pittsburgh beat the Islanders 4-3. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak the Islanders had, but they did extend their point streak to five games with the shootout loss.
Pittsburgh and New York are now even at 13 points in the East Division standings.
“I think it was a pretty good game,” Anders Lee said. “We came out with one of two points and the way it ended, it’s tough to rank it too high. But there are a lot of good things we can take from this and build off of… Tough to give one up, but bad breaks are going to happen. It was a good shot, had eyes a little bit… Opportunity to get back at it on Saturday.”
🎥 Lee and Pulock Postgame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/PFNtggP1qJ
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 12, 2021
Semyon Varlamov finished the night with 28 saves for the Islanders in the loss. It was his loss outside of regulation this season.
The Islanders were outshot on Thursday 31-26 by Pittsburgh.
“It was a playoff-style game. I thought they played really well,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I thought we played really well so I didn’t expect anything different than a really close game.”
It looked as though the Islanders were going to pick up their second win over Pittsburgh in the last five days late in the third period. Mathew Barzal scored the second highlight-reel goal of the evening to give the Islanders a late lead.
The New York Islanders 23-year-old star had an outstanding individual effort to score with 6:25 left in the game.
Barzal picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and then proceeded to undress Pierre-Oliver Joseph with his puck handling skill. Once he got by the young Pittsburgh defender, Barzal put the puck past Casey DeSmith’ss glove for the goal.
BARZY gives us the LEAD pic.twitter.com/vWr4FTjXqJ
— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) February 12, 2021
“I just had a full head of steam and knew it was a one-on-one,” Barzal said of the goal. “Just tried to make a move on him… fortunate enough to get it in.”
The heroic goal wouldn’t serve as the game-winner, however. Malkin was able to tie the game at three with 18 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Crosby beat Varlamov in the shootout and Casey DeSmith stopped Josh Bailey’s attempt to seal the game.
Casey Cizikas opened the scoring on the game’s first shot. In an impressive show of skill, Cizikas was able to muscle by a Pittsburgh defender and push the puck past starter Casey DeSmith to put the islanders up 1-0.
The goal was Cizikas’ second in as many games and extended his point streak to three games.
He did what!?!?!
Casey Cizikas with an insane goal pic.twitter.com/GdeX8vrTbo
— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) February 12, 2021
“I can’t really tell you what was going through my head,” Cizikas explained. “I might’ve blacked out there for a second… I was able to make a move somehow and put it in the back of the net.”
Pittsburgh evened the score at one off of some tic-tac-toe passing in front of the net. Sidney Crosby was able to send a precision pass over to Jake Guentzel, who was able to find Bryan Rust down low for the tip-in goal at 11:47 of the first.
The New York Islanders managed to take back the lead before the buzzer sounded for the first. After Cody Ceci took a delay of game penalty at 15:08, the Isles made Pittsburgh pay for the mistake.
A shot from the point on the ensuing power play was deflected in front of the net by Jean-Gabriel Pageau and gave New York the 2-1 lead at 16:40.
Pittsburgh was able to get that one back in the opening minutes of the second period. Zach Aston-Reese was able to muscle Noah Dobson off the puck behind the net and then stuff the puck by Varlamov for the tying goal at 7:02.
“We got a point which was huge,” Cizikas said. “But we’re going to continue moving forward and getting better.”
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