File this under "another third-period collapse" or file this under "that's hockey." However you spin it, giving up the tying goal with 32 seconds left, then the OT winner just 42 seconds later, that feels like a firm knifing.
As in Vancouver, the Islanders entered the third period with a 4-2 lead, but this time it didn't hold. Though the Ducks' third goal came on the powerplay and the equalizer didn't come until the final minute, the third period was filled with plenty of shots and close calls for the Ducks. The 14-2 third-period shot tally might be overselling it, but not by much. The Ducks spent the period loading traffic in front of Martin Biron -- who made several sight-unseen saves -- and Scott Niedermayer alone set up several should-be tap-ins.
Yet the Isles almost survived. Almost. Jason Blake saw one powerplay shot bounce in off him -- garnering a fist pump, of course -- and brilliant deadline acquisition Lubomir Visnovsky tied it with his second blast of the night through traffic, this time with the Ducks net empty. A Bruno Gervais turnover early in OT sent Saku Koivu in for a breakaway on which he beat Biron stick side.
This and That
- On the bright side, Kyle Okposo not only returned to the lineup, he potted two goals. One came after his move led him to the outside and around the net, where he banked a lucky bounce off Jonas Hiller. The second came on a powerplay squibbler through Hiller's legs, which got Hiller pulled.
- Also on the bright side, John Tavares scored again, shoveling in a backhand on the powerplay after a pass into traffic from Frans Nielsen.
- Nielsen got some time on the point on the powerplay, where he was able to display his finesse side with some nice passing. I could see that again. He also continued his excellent defensive work -- before the tying goal, he made a great fake and clear that I thought might have been the final momentum-killer the Isles needed. Ah, but so much can happen in 15 seconds of hockey.
- Martin Biron was on for most of the game. He was hard done by with this loss. He wasn't afforded the courtesy of seeing many of the Ducks goals. His robbery on Corey Perry's redirect was my favorite.
- Richard Park returned to Southern California and scored in front of his parents. It's really nice to see Park in his more typical form of late. Free agency awaits.
- I'm glad Teemu Selanne didn't get his 600th goal against the Islanders, but it was cool to see the Finnish Flash still has wheels and hands.
- By blowing the lead, the Isles gave back-up Curtis McElhinney the win in relief on 14 shots.
- Ice Time: Mark Streit got over 27 minutes, Dustin Kohn got under 8. Dylan Reese got 16:52.
The point for earning a regulation draw ties the Isles with Tampa Bay and keeps them one point ahead of Florida and two ahead of Carolina, though each of those teams has at least one game in hand.
Next up: We do it again Saturday, this time at the other [corporate something or other] center in SoCal. The Kings should pose a more serious challenge, which is good news for the tankers.