DENVER – Desperate for a win, especially on home ice, the Colorado Avalanche erased a three-goal deficit Thursday night to stun the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime at the Pepsi Center.
Kyle Quincey's power-play goal with 2:21 remaining in the extra period capped the comeback, put an end to the Avalanche's four-game losing streak and gave the Avs just their second win in seven games at home.
Quincey's shot from the slot went through traffic and beat goalie Al Montoya, who had been penalized for high-sticking David Jones with 3:07 left in overtime. The Avalanche finished with a season-high 51 shots.
"It's a huge win for the boys," said Quincey, who played a team-high 25:57, assisted on Paul Stastny's power-play goal late in the second period and helped to kill off an Islanders power play that began with 1:43 left in regulation and carried into the overtime.
Quincey credited Jones for screening Montoya on the winning goal.
"Jonesie did a great job in front," he said. "If (Montoya) sees that last shot, he probably saves it. Jonesie did all the work there."
Montoya, who was bowled over by Daniel Winnik to set up New York's power play late in the third period, high-sticked Jones to set up the decisive goal.
"Obviously it wasn't a very smart play by their goalie to take that penalty, but I'll take it," Jones said. "I was just in the right place. He kind of just swung his stick at my face. I don't know what he was doing. He turned around and hit me in the face. It seems like something that's not too smart in overtime. It obviously ended up costing them big."
Montoya was said to be taking treatment after the game and wasn't available for comment.
Both teams have been struggling. The Islanders are now 1-5-3 since starting the season with three wins in the first four games, and the Avs were in a 1-5-1 slump after winning six of its first seven games. Colorado had scored seven goals while dropping five of six games at home.
"It was a real good effort," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "We fought for the complete game. You don't want to be down 3-0 at any point or 3-1 going into the third, but maybe this is something that we can hopefully build on, especially at home. We dug in deep; it was gut check time and we found a way. It was a good effort by a lot of guys."
Penalty-killing has been a sore spot for the Avalanche in recent weeks, but it came through late in the third period after Winnik bowled over Montoya, who had made a save against Shane O'Brien.
Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, in his first home start as a member of the Avalanche, made what turned out to be the last of his 30 saves against Michael Grabner an instant before the final horn.
"I got lucky there," Giguere said. "He got a good piece of that and I was able to make the save. I guess we were fortunate there."
Giguere, who has won three of four starts, twice was shaken up in the game. He needed attention from a trainer at 9:23 of the third period when he was hit on the left side of his neck by a right-circle blast from Blake Comeau.
"It hit my mask but mostly my neck," Giguere said. "It just got stuck right there. I couldn't believe there was no rebound. At least I didn't give up a rebound. I felt it. But I wasn't hurt bad."
Giguere also had his helmet knocked off when he was hit into the net with 4:28 to go after making a save.
Down 3-0 late in the second period, the Avalanche rallied with three consecutive goals to tie the game. Jan Hejda evened matters at 10:35 of the third period with a shot from above the left circle that beat Montoya to the far post for his first goal of the season.
Milan Hejduk made it 3-2 at 6:07 when his shot glanced off Montoya's right skate and slid across the goal line.
"We weren't a confident group after they scored their second goal," said Brian Rolston, whose goal 34 seconds into the second period gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead.
The Avalanche scored its first goal during a two-man advantage with 20.8 seconds left in the second period when Stastny lifted the rebound of Jones' shot into the net.
"It was looking pretty bleak," Quincey said of the 3-0 deficit. "We could have said, ‘Here we go again.' But we stuck with it, and it shows a lot of character. I think this is a turning point in our season. We have to build on this momentum and keep going."
Rolston and Grabner scored second-period goals to give the Islanders their 3-0 advantage.
Rolston was in the slot when he took a pass from PA Parenteau at the side of the net and fired the puck behind Giguere. Grabner connected at the eight-minute mark on a 2-on-1 rush after Montoya made a couple of saves at the opposite end. Grabner drove to the net and redirected Matt Moulson's pass inside the left post.
The Islanders took a 1-0 lead on Josh Bailey's power-play goal at 15:36 of the opening period with one second remaining on TJ Galiardi's penalty for goalie interference.
"Lots of things went wrong," Bailey said. "They had a good (third) period, but there is no excuse. We were dominating them for 40 minutes and at one point it felt like it should have been a no doubter two-point win."