Mikhail Grabovski's OT goal wins it for Islanders
No matter how it snaked its way to a conclusion, the Islanders can feel good about their 3-2 overtime win over the Blues Saturday night on Mikhail Grabovski's tap-in goal with 59.3 seconds left in three-on-three overtime.
Forget that they brought a 2-0 lead into the third period, only to watch the Blues tie the score on a pair of point shots that Thomas Greiss never saw through traffic.
Forget that the Isles were outshot 15-2 in the third and got run around by a rested team after they flew in late Friday following a bad loss at home.
Just remember the two points -- the first Isles win here since December 2005, though that 10-year span included only four trips here.
"That's a really good win against a really good team that was rested at home," Kyle Okposo said. "We hung in there."
The Islanders were led by Greiss, who made 38 saves in a lopsided final two periods and overtime.
The Blues held a 79-46 edge in shot attempts and sent a defenseman up into the rush just about every time up the ice in an attempt to pressure the Isles into submission, -- particularly after Thomas Hickey left with a lower-body injury in the third period that dropped the Isles to five defensemen.
The Blues had five power plays, four in the last two periods, that also helped turn the tide. The Isles' penalty kill was excellent, from Greiss on out. His right-pad save on Alex Steen's mid-air deflection during a second-period Blues power play was the best of the night. But so much time short took a toll.
"Whether they were deserved or not, you can't keep giving a team like that advantages," Jack Capuano said. "It's going to come back to bite you."
Okposo got the Isles going on their power play at 16:52 of the first, sneaking a wrist shot through Anders Lee's screen and between Brian Elliott's pads. John Tavares snapped a dagger home with 1:18 left in the second off a great stretch pass by Josh Bailey, negating St. Louis' strong period and sending the Isles to the third with a 2-0 lead.
Capuano juggled his forward lines and sat out Ryan Strome as a healthy scratch, a surprising move that looked as if it could pay off with that two-goal lead.
But Colton Parayko tossed a shot through a crowd that snuck under the crossbar 2:26 into the third, and things got even tighter when Steen tipped home Parayko's point shot at 10:51.
The Isles killed another power play after that and, as Capuano put it, "got through those final two, three minutes and just tried to take the point."
In the skilled mayhem that is three-on-three OT, Steen flubbed a wide-open chance a minute before Frans Nielsen made a strong move to the backhand and sent one through the crease for Grabovski -- in perfect position to shovel home the winner.
"We played hard and overall I thought we played really well," said Greiss, who has stopped 82 of 87 shots in his last two games, both wins. "They really didn't get more than one shot each time down and I thought we were good defensively. It was a good win."