BOSTON (AP) - The New York Islanders could hardly be blamed for thinking the worse was about to happen. Only this time, things turned out differently.
Alexei Zhitnik and Mark Parrish scored 20 seconds apart midway through the third period and the Islanders killed off a late two-man power play en route to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
Clinging to a 4-3 lead with just under 6 minutes to play, the Islanders suddenly found themselves about to be two men down after Joel Bouchard was whistled for high-sticking. Miroslav Satan was already off for hooking.
"I heard a couple of `Oh, nos' on the bench the way the season has gone," New York coach Brad Shaw said. "So that was a big momentum builder for us."
The Bruins had a few good chances on the two-man power play for 1:05, but never got a great opportunity against goalie Rick DiPietro.
"It just seems like that kind of stuff has happened to us in the third period when we have a lead," DiPietro said. "Hopefully, we can use this game as a turning point in the season."
The loss snapped Boston's season-best stretch at 5-0-2 and halted its three-game winning streak. The Islanders, who outshot Boston 51-44, have won all three games against the Bruins this season.
Trailing 3-2, New York scored on two completely different ways off faceoffs to jump back in front 4-3. On the first one, the Islanders won the draw back to Zhitnik, who beat goalie Tim Thomas with a slap shot from the right point.
On the winner, Shawn Bates pushed the puck forward after losing the draw. He then slipped a short pass to Parrish, who beat Thomas from in front.
"There's a fine line between winning and losing," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said. "For us, the faceoff certainly hurt us tonight. We had opportunities to win the game on the power play."
Boston finished 1-for-7 on the power play.
"We have to put this one behind us pretty quickly and get back on roll," Boston defenseman Nick Boynton said.
The Bruins won their previous three games by 3-2 scores, and have played in five straight one-goal games.
Trent Hunter scored on a backhander between Thomas' pads 44 seconds into the third period, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead.
Boston tied it at 2 when P.J. Axelsson, positioned in front, redirected Brad Stuart's shot with the shaft of his stick for a power-play goal at 4:20.
Brad Boyes gave the Bruins a 3-2 when he beat DiPietro with a slap shot from the right circle 2:15 later.
The Islanders had moved in front 1-0 just 59 seconds into the second period when Mike York scored out of a scramble in front, poking a loose puck behind Thomas.
Boston tied it at 1 when Patrice Bergeron scored off a nice feed from Marco Sturm. Bergeron collected a pass in the slot, shifted around DiPietro and tucked the puck into the net at 6:24.
New York had the best chance in a wide-open, scoreless first period that had very few whistles and only three minor penalties. Left wing Jason Blake, at the edge of the crease, collected a rebound and missed an open net as the horn sounded to end the period.
Notes: Boston D Brian Leetch returned to action after missing the last seven games because of a groin injury. ... New York had 30 shots on goal after two periods, with defenseman Chris Campoli shooting five times. ... Injured Boston goaltender Andrew Raycroft played on a conditioning assignment for Providence, the team's AHL affiliate, against Springfield on Saturday.
|Mike York (10) ASST: Trent Hunter (13), Miroslav Satan (17)|
1 - 0 NYI
|Patrice Bergeron (15) ASST: Marco Sturm (19)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Trent Hunter (10) ASST: Chris Campoli (14), Mike York (25)|
2 - 1 NYI
|PPG - P.J. Axelsson (10) ASST: Brad Stuart (19), Sergei Samsonov (18)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Brad Boyes (13) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (28), Brad Stuart (20)|
3 - 2 BOS
|Alexei Zhitnik (5) ASST: Mike York (26), Miroslav Satan (18)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Mark Parrish (19) ASST: Shawn Bates (7)|
4 - 3 NYI
|Kevin Colley Holding|
|Brad Lukowich Slashing|
|Eric Nickulas Holding|
|Radek Martinek Interference|
|Brent Sopel Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Sergei Samsonov Tripping|
|Kevin Colley Fighting (maj)|
|Dan Lacouture Fighting (maj)|
|Patrice Bergeron Tripping|
|Jason Blake Holding|
|Miroslav Satan Hooking|
|Joel Bouchard Hi-sticking|