This time it was the Islanders, who have blown 10 third-period leads, flipping the script with a late-game rally from a two-goal deficit. In doing so, they handed the Kings their first road loss of the season and prevented them from matching an NHL record.
“You’ve got to get a bounce here or there every once in a while,” Anders Lee said. “I think we earned that win absolutely tonight just the way we played for the whole game.”
Lee scored twice on rebounds in the third period and Jean-Gabriel Pageau won it on a breakaway 13 seconds into overtime as the Islanders topped the Kings, 3-2, at UBS Arena on Saturday night.
It kept the Kings, who set an NHL record with 11 straight road wins to open the season, from matching a league mark of 12 road victories in a row at any point in a season.
“We knew it was a big challenge,” said Pageau, who was sprung by Simon Holmstrom for his breakaway winner.
“We took it as a great opportunity and we made the best of it. Coming into the third, we were like, ‘Let’s empty the tank, and if we go down, let’s go down swinging.’ I thought we were the better team at the end of the game.”
The Islanders (12-7-7), who got 34 saves from Ilya Sorokin, are 2-0-1 midway through their season-high six-game homestand. Sorokin’s biggest save came at 17:35 of the third period as he stopped Adrian Kempe’s breakaway.
It marked the Islanders debut of defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, acquired on Friday from the Blues for a seventh-round pick after Ryan Pulock (lower body) was placed on injured reserve. The Islanders already were missing Adam Pelech (long-term injured reserve/upper body) and Sebastian Aho (IR/upper body) from their original top six at the start of the season.
Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots for the Kings (16-4-4), who had been 13-0-0 when leading after two periods.
“There wasn’t a down moment where we thought we were out of the game,” Mathew Barzal said.
“That’s a good hockey team. They do everything. They’ve got a little bit of everything, size, skill, structure. It was not an easy game out there, they made it hard. It’s just a big win for us beating a team like that.”
Lee pulled the Islanders within 2-1 at 8:42 of the third period, burying the rebound of defenseman Mike Reilly’s hard shot from the left circle. Bo Horvat won an offensive-zone faceoff and Lee knocked in the rebound of defenseman Scott Mayfield’s shot to tie it at 2-2 at 15:49.
“We know what we’re doing on the draw,” Lee said. “He just did a great job of winning it and getting it back and Scottie put it right on the pads for me.”
The Islanders were playing the Kings even until a sequence of questionable decisions midway through the second period.
Mayfield confronted Kings defenseman Andreas Englund — literally beating teammate Horvat to the punch — after Englund leveled Barzal with a clean hit at 5:12.
Kempe connected to the short side on a backdoor one-timer from the right circle off Kevin Fiala’s cross-ice pass to make it 1-0 on the power play at 5:40. The Kings were looking for backdoor feeds from the opening faceoff.
Mayfield still was in the penalty box when defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov wristed in a blistering shot from the top of the left circle at 9:08 to give the Kings a two-goal lead.
Coach Lane Lambert unsuccessfully challenged for goalie interference — his first unsuccessful challenge in three tries this season — to put the Kings back on the power play.