It took only 14 seconds into overtime for Saku Koivu’s breakaway goal to end the Islanders joyride down the West Coast.
With the game tied at 4, Koivu batted down an outlet pass from Bruno Gervais at the blue line and bolted in toward Isles goaltender Martin Biron to score the game-winner and give the Ducks a 5-4 win over the Islanders at Honda Center last night.
Kyle Okposo scored twice, while both John Tavares and Richard Park chipped in with a goal apiece, but the Islanders couldn’t protect a two-goal third-period lead or staunch the Ducks late-game heroics, including Lubomir Visnovsky's game-tying goal with 32 seconds left in regulation.
On the fringes of the playoff picture, the Ducks displayed their urgency with timely goal-scoring in the third period to rally from a 4-2 deficit and win their third straight game.
While the Ducks are battling to remain among the Western Conference contenders, the Islanders are in the midst of their own post-season push. Although the team has snagged a point in each of its last five games, a win last night would’ve made a significant dent in their postseason hopes.
A victory would’ve pulled the Islanders within five points of the 8th place Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference.
“They played desperate that third period,” said goaltender Martin Biron. “It’s tough to give away points like that. We need points too to make a push for it.”
Biron, who entered last night’s game with an unblemished 8-0-0 career record against the Ducks, made several clutch saves throughout the game but ultimately could not stop a relentless barrage of shots from the Ducks as they outshot the Isles 14-2 in the third period.
With the Ducks trailing 4-2, former Islander Jason Blake sparked the Ducks, tipping in a point shot at 9:53-- the first power-play goal surrendered by the Islanders in four games.
Snagging his second goal of the game, Visnovsky tied the game with less than a minute to play with his one-timer at 19:28.
“They took a couple of scenery shots to beat us. It wasn’t like we gave them Grade-A opportunities to score,” coach Scott Gordon said. “It was a slapshot from the blue-line that had eyes and for the most part we had coverage.”
Despite the loss, the Islanders have a chance against the Kings tonight to take five out of six points on what was anticipated as a potentially back-breaking West Coast road trip.
“I think if you told us we’d get five points on this road trip we’d take it, so we need some short-term memory loss,” Okposo said. “We need to go into L.A. ready to play tomorrow.”
Notes and Quotes: Okposo returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game against Vancouver with an undisclosed injury.