Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Islanders even series with Pens

John Tavares’ third-period goal lifts the New York Islanders over the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-4, and evens their playoff series at 2-2.

JOHN TAVARES scored with 9:49 left, and the New York Islanders tied their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins last night with a wild, 6-4 victory in Uniondale, N.Y.

Only the final lead was safe in Game 4.

Tavares slammed in his own rebound in front after Brad Boyes fed him following a turnover by Penguins star Evgeni Malkin. It was the Islanders' third one-goal advantage in the game and the one that earned them a 2-2 tie in the highly entertaining Eastern Conference series that has featured 5-4 and 6-4 finishes at Nassau Coliseum.

Tavares was serenaded with cheers of "M-V-P" from the frantic crowd that is believing an upset is possible. Casey Cizikas shoved in a shot with 1:16 left to add some much-needed insurance.

"We found a way today. Another roller-coaster ride," Tavares said. "We learned from those games when we gave up leads - a lot of us said that one bounce can change a season.

"Not sure what it was but we have had contributions offensively and defensively from everyone in our lineup. That makes us better."

Captain Mark Streit scored twice, and Brian Strait and Kyle Okposo also had goals. Evgeni Nabokov made 27 saves for the eighth-seeded Islanders, who know they will last at least six games with the top-seeded Penguins.

"You get into the playoffs, you put in so much effort to get here, we want to make the most of it," Tavares said. "We believe in this room. We have a lot of character. That's what we need."

Pittsburgh's James Neal, in his return after injuring his ankle in the series opener, scored in the first period. Malkin added a tying goal in the second, and Brandon Sutter and Pascal Dupuis provided the Penguins with a pair of one-goal leads they couldn't protect.

In other games * 

At Ottawa, Kyle Turris scored 2:32 into overtime to lift the Senators to a 3-2 victory over Montreal and to a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference series.

Ottawa, which trailed 2-0 entering the third period, tied the score with 22.6 seconds remaining in regulation on a goal by Cory Conacher.

Turris' shot from the sideboards sneaked past Montreal backup goalie Peter Budaj, who came on for the injured Carey Price at the start of overtime.

* At St. Paul, Minn., Patrick Sharp scored goals in the first and second periods to lead the Chicago Blackhawks over the Minnesota Wild, 2-0, for a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference series.

Noteworthy * 

The Buffalo Sabres hired Ron Rolston as head coach after he served the interim position following the firing of Lindy Ruff in February.

Rolston led the Sabres to a 15-11-5 record after Ruff was fired Feb. 20 following a 6-10-1 performance. Ruff spent 16 years as coach of the Sabres and 10 years as a player.

* Montreal's P.K. Subban, Pittsburgh's Kris Letang and Minnesota's Ryan Suter are finalists for the Norris Trophy, given annually to the NHL's top defenseman.