Friday, October 25, 2013

Late Goal Keys Isles' Upset in Pittburgh

The Islanders and Pittsburgh had a surprisingly competitive first-round playoff series last year, and the two Metropolitan Division rivals picked up right where they left on Friday at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Josh Bailey scored the game winner at 18:20 in the third, capping off a wild period in which three goals were in a 1:09 span that left the teams tied at 3-3. With Pittsburgh pushing for the regulation win, the Isles broke out of their own zone for the winning tally. After being robbed on a one-timer from point blank range, Bailey took a feed from Frans Nielsen, found a way to elude the check of Chris Kunitz and dove out to sweep the puck into the net past Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff.

It was a surprise finish to a game that had been largely dominated by the first place Penguins. The Penguins pumped 42 shots on Isles' goalie Evgeni Nabokov, but they went 0-5 on the power play, which helped to let the Islanders hang around long enough for Bailey to work his magic in the waning moments.

"The one thing we've done this season is, even when we're not playing our best, we've found a way to keep ourselves in it," said Josh Bailey. "Nabby really made the difference and it was a good confidence-building win for us." The Islanders improve to 4-3-3 with the win while Pittsburgh finishes its first ten games at a 7-3 clip.