Isles blow 3-0 lead, lose to Avs in OT
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DENVER -- With a three-goal lead entering the final minute of the second period, the Islanders had this one, and they let it get away in ugly fashion.
Al Montoya made 47 saves, but he lost his cool after being run into once too often and high-sticked David Jones 1:53 into overtime for a penalty. Then Kyle Quincey scored on the power play 2:39 into OT, giving the Avalanche a 4-3 win. Jones originally was credited with the goal.
The Islanders took a 3-0 lead on Michael Grabner's fifth goal eight minutes into the second period, but the Avs rallied back to snap a four-game losing streak.
After Milan Hejduk's toss to the slot hit off Montoya's pad and slithered across the goal line 6:07 into the third to make it a 3-2 game, the Islanders looked as lost as the Avalanche had appeared for long stretches of the second.
Simple clears turned into turnovers. Forechecking wasn't there. And when Jan Hejda's shot from 40 feet on a rush ticked off Mike Mottau's stick and under Montoya's arm with 9:25 to go, the score was tied -- and Colorado kept coming.
The Islanders got a late power play when Daniel Winnik was called for goaltender interference, the third Avalanche penalty for running into or roughing up Montoya, but the Isles could not convert in regulation.
The Islanders made the home team look inept often in the second period, but there still were plenty of nervous moments as the horn sounded to end it.
An Isles power play was negated by Matt Moulson's inadvertent high stick with 1:27 left in the period and then, with a second to go before the Avalanche started a power play, Jay Pandolfo was called for holding in the neutral zone.
Paul Stastny converted a rebound on the two-man advantage with 20.7 seconds left in the second. Colorado pressed with a one-man power play and nearly pulled within a goal, but the horn mercifully sounded.
Before that, the Islanders seemed primed for a laugher. P.A. Parenteau beat a defenseman to a puck behind the Colorado net and fed Brian Rolston for a goal from the slot just 34 seconds into the second to give the Isles a 2-0 lead. After another couple of listless shifts from Colorado, coach Joe Sacco called timeout and veteran defenseman Shane O'Brien exhorted his teammates while Sacco remained silent.
Colorado had some more jump after that. Perhaps too much; the Avalanche defensemen were gambling, and the Isles capitalized on the counter-attack. Moulson came down on an odd-man rush and flipped a one-handed pass that Grabner chipped past J.S. Giguere for a 3-0 lead.