Ultimately, things worked out for the Islanders Sunday in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Ottawa Senators.
But not until the home team suffered through a few door-slamming frustrations.
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Ottawa's two goals, which tied the score at 1-1 and 2-2, both came after some unpredictable bounces.
The first, swept in by Mika Zibanejad midway through the second period, was facilitated when a clearing attempt caromed off the stick of Islanders defender Travis Hamonic, leaving Zibanejad with a clear shot at goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
The second, also a deflection off an Islander's stick on a shot by Patrick Wiercioch, came with 69 seconds to play. Worse, it came after Kyle Okposo took a penalty for tripping Erik Condra with 1:48 to go, handing Ottawa the late power play.
Replays showed that Okposo, hustling to challenge Condra for the puck along the boards, had gotten a leg under Condra's leg. Islanders coach Jack Capuano refused to criticize the call because they "even out over the course of the season." He wants no excuses: "We showed some character, we battled hard. But this one's over."
The Islanders had suffered eight losses when tied or ahead in the third period. This time, ahead 2-1, then tied 2-2 in the third, they won in the shootout. They again demonstrated that three goals is their minimum for success. They are 9-1-2 when scoring three or more and 0-10-0 with two or fewer.