Those two points? Worth the wait.
Despite a lengthy review that spanned more than ten minutes, Matt Moulson was ultimately awarded a goal at 1:56 of overtime to give the Islanders a 3-2 overtime win over the Lightning.
Moulson’s game-winner, originally ruled a no-goal, was snatched out of mid-air by Lightning backup goaltender Dan Ellis but not before the puck crossed the goal line.
Opposite a defeated Lightning bench the Islanders squad erupted into cheers after the announcement and celebrated their third consecutive victory.
“I had no clue,” Moulson said of his vantage point on the goal. “I was laying on the ground.”
But during the interminable wait, the bench received word from video coach Ryan Ward that good news was on the way.
“[Ward] saw it while they were reviewing it and told us on the bench that 100% it was in,” coach Scott Gordon said.
The goal came four seconds after the Islanders 4-on-3 power-play to begin the third period, after Pavel Kubina tripped Blake Comeau with under ten seconds in regulation.
“It was an ugly power play and we didn’t score on the power play, but their guy was coming out of the box when we did. At the end of the day, we did the right thing on it by getting the puck to the net,” Gordon said.
The Islanders also received some strong goaltending from Rick DiPietro, who made 28 saves on the night, including one to thwart former teammate Sean Bergenheim on a breakaway in the third period.
“Goaltending was great,” said former Bolt Zenon Konopka, who was 65% from the faceoff circle last night. “He’s so unbelievable on reaction shots.”
DiPietro’s point-blank stop on Bergenheim in the third atoned for the first goal of the game the Islanders gave up to the Finnish sparkplug.
After Michael Grabner buried a rebound for his second goal of the season at 2:15 in the first, Bergenheim tied the game late in the period after Lightning winger Teddy Purcell sprung Bergenheim for an easy breakaway goal at 18:05.
Martin St. Louis broke a 1-1 tie in the second period at 4:44 on a rush—one of many rushes the Islanders gave up in the middle frame—four seconds after the Islanders power play expired.
After St. Louis’ go-ahead goal, both teams had 5-on-3 power-play opportunities.
The Islanders converted and the Lightning did not.
With Ryan Malone already in the box for roughing, third-year star Steven Stamkos gave the Islanders a two-man advantage after cross-checking Nino Niederreiter while the 18-year-old rookie chased after his own rebound in the crease.
P.A. Parenteau tallied the equalizer midway through the second period to give the Islanders 9th power-play goal of the season.
Hardly the Islanders’ best game of the year, but a win nonetheless.
“I think maybe that’s the difference between this year and last year,” Moulson said. “We didn’t play our best obviously and we gave up some chances but we had some stellar goaltending and got the two points. That’s the key, to just find a way to win, even when we’re not playing our best.”
Notes and Quotes: Defenseman Andrew MacDonald did not play the third period because of a hand injury. Josh Bailey (hip pointer) did not play last night, while Trent Hunter (foot), returned to the lineup. Blake Comeau left the ice after the third-period play where he was tripped but returned during the overtime period.