–Islanders rally falls short in overtime loss to Penguins

December 8, 2017

PITTSBURGH — The Islanders made a late rally, but it wasn’t enough.

Matt Hunwick scored 1:29 into overtime, lifting the Penguins over the Islanders 4-3 on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh led 3-1 in the third period, but the Islanders tied it with goals in the final 4:53. Hunwick ended the game with his third of the season by pushing one in during a scramble in front of the net.

Phil Kessel got his team-leading 14th goal on a power play, and Jake Guentzel and Riley Sheahan also scored for Pittsburgh. Rookie Tristan Jarry made 23 saves. Pittsburgh has won five of six since a three-game losing streak.

Jordan Eberle got his 12th goal for the Islanders, and Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each got their eighth in the third period. Nelson tied it with 1:10 left. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots.

The Islanders have lost three of four since a four-game winning streak.

Jarry made a stick save on Josh Bailey during a breakaway in overtime.

Matt Hunwick scores the game-winner in overtime.AP

Kessel and Sheahan scored 32 seconds apart midway through the third period, briefly giving Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead. Kessel sent wrist shot over Halak’s glove and into the top corner from the left faceoff dot 7:29 into the period. Soon after, Halak left his crease but misplayed a clearing attempt, allowing Sheahan to take advantage. Sheahan found the top corner, beating Halak to the blocker side with a wrist shot for a goal on his 26th birthday.

Barzal beat Jarry with a wrist shot from the slot, and then Nelson tied it. Thomas Hickey put the initial shot on goal, and Nelson converted the rebound from atop the crease.

Guentzel opened the scoring with a power-play goal, tipping Kris Letang’s point shot behind Halak. Guentzel scored again later in the period, but the goal was disallowed because he batted the puck into the net with his hand.

The Penguins have at least one power-play goal in seven of their last eight games. The Islanders have allowed 13 power-play goals in their last nine games.

The Islanders tied it at 5:53 of the second when Eberle flipped a rebound over a sprawled Jarry from the right side of the crease during a net-mouth scramble.

The Penguins and Islanders both played without top defensemen. Pittsburgh’s Justin Schultz was placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss a couple weeks with a lower-body injury. Johnny Boychuk missed for the Islanders with a lingering undisclosed injury that isn’t believed to be serious. – #1 News in a FLASH

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