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Avalanche 4, Islanders 3 (OT)

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
The Colorado Avalanche scored four unanswered goals to earn a 4-3 come-from-behind overtime victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Kyle Quincey scored the game-winning goal on the power play at 2:39 of overtime.

A delayed penalty was called against Al Montoya for high sticking at 1:53, giving a 4-on-3 advantage to the Avalanche and Quincey would fan on a shot and pass to Milan Hejduk before getting it back for the shot through the high slot.

“I don’t blame him,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said of Montoya’s penalty. “He got to the paint there, the one tried to stop and he ran into him, but it was a good hockey game.”

Paul Stastny #26 of the Colorado Avalanche faces off against Fran Nielsen #51 of the the New York Islanders at the Pepsi Center on November 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Capuano continued, “We knew they were going to come with energy in the third. They were going to bring it and their D were pinching, they were jumping, they had some chances, but that was a part of us stopping what we did to be successful in the second.”

A turnover through the neutral zone led to Jan Hejda’s game-tying goal at 10:35 of the third period. As he entered the zone and fired off a slap shot, the puck was deflected and fluttered before brushing up against Montoya and crossing the goal line glove side.

“The shot was deflected a little bit and Al got handcuffed, but for the most part, I thought, especially the second period, we played extremely well,” Capuano said. “The biggest thing for me was chipping some pucks in and causing some penalties for us, which caused that second goal.”

Hejduk brought the game within reach for the Avalanche, bringing the score 3-2 as he skated along the right side of the boards for a wrist shot that trickled through Montoya’s pads and across the goal line at 6:07 of the third. Paul Stastny would score a power play goal to put the Avalanche on the board with 21 seconds left in the second period.

“When you get a couple goals scored on you, you tend to seize up and that’s what we did," forward Brian Rolston said. "We weren’t a confident group after they scored their second goal. That’s the time when we need to be confident and make confident plays with the puck. We didn’t do that. That’s something that needs to be stressed.”

“That first goal with 21 seconds left (in the second) really hurt us,” Capuano said.

Michael Grabner’s goal at 8:00 of the second gave the Isles a 3-0 lead. A nice breakaway for the Isles, Matt Moulson backhanded a pass to Grabner, who drove the net for the redirection. Rolston scored just 34 seconds off the second period’s opening faceoff after receiving a pass from PA Parenteau in the slot.

Josh Bailey scored his first goal of the season to put the Islanders on the board with a power play goal at 15:36 of the first period. After the Isles won the faceoff, Captain Mark Streit took a shot from the point, which Bailey found at the paint to redirect home.

“Hockey is a game of momentum,” Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “The second period was one of the better periods we’ve played so far this season. That’s the frustrating part about it. We had them on their heels; we were playing well and then they got that first one and it put us back on our heels. It seemed like we couldn’t recover and play the game that we played in the first half.”

By the end of regulation, Montoya had made a career high 44 saves, but the Avalanche would outshoot the Islanders 51-33 in 62:39 of play to seal the outcome.

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