As the score mounted and the odds slimmed the New York Islanders didn't quiet down, instead they embraced the challenge in front of them. They fought back, displayed resilience - a constant theme throughout their now, franchise-record tying, 15-game point streak - and rallied to claim a 5-4 overtime victory at Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday night.
Derick Brassard, who played with Pittsburgh last season, was adament that these 14 wins through this 15-game point streak haven't been flukes, but slivers of brilliance among a special group of hard-working individuals who are seeking the same goal.
"There's a lot of pride in this room," said Derick Brassard. "There's a lot of character in this room now and what we're doing is something special. I've never lived that in anywhere in any league. Hopefully, we can keep it going in that direction."
Tuesday marked the Isles' second straight comeback win, after rallying from three goals down against Philadelphia on Saturday night. The script was similar in Pittsburgh, as the Isles found themselves down 4-2 with five minutes remaining in the third period before rallying to win.
Like Saturday, the Isles stuck to their game plan to once again send the game into overtime, with Josh Bailey and Ryan Pulock scoring two goals to tie it. Brock Nelson sealed it with the OT winner, and his second goal of the evening, 2:55 into the extra period. Per Elias, the Isles are the first team to win back-to-back games when trailing by multiple goals in the last seven minutes of each contest.
"It was kind of the same against Philly," Nelson said. "We just had the belief that we could get it done and take care of business."
Video: NYI@PIT: Islanders storm back for dramatic OT win
The win was far from perfection. The Penguins capitalized on the Isles costly mistakes to take a 2-0 lead on goals by Bryan Rust and Brandon Tanev after their first period. Tanev's second goal had Pittsburgh up 3-2 after two periods and Jake Guentzel put the Pens ahead 4-2 lead early in the third period. But the circumstance were familiar for the Isles, who had unfastened a 3-0 lead by Philadelphia to win the game 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday night and replicated a similar effort to beat the Penguins.
"Give Pittsburgh a lot of credit," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "They played really well. I didn't think we had a lot of juice in our lineup. We had a little push in the second, that was huge for us to get back in the game and then they obviously took [the lead] back. They did a really good job. We didn't get a lot of chances in the third. They did a lot of good things, but we were able to capitalize."
Video: Islanders rally late, tie franchise mark with OT win
ISLES MATCH LONGEST POINT STREAK:
The win extended the Isles point streak to 15 games (14-0-1), tied for the longest point streak in franchise history, which has been accomplished three times, most recently in 1981-82. While the Isles have been on a tear since mid-October, they aren't focused on the streak itself but rather putting forth their best collective effort night-in and night-out to earn winning results.
"The funny thing is the only thing is we haven't even been talking about it," Trotz said. "Honestly, our team, we wouldn't even know. Our team would have no clue if we won 10 in a row, or five in a row, we would just know we haven't lost in a while. It hasn't been our mentality. The mentality has been just looking at the next game."
Video: NYI@PIT: Beauvillier goes bar down from the slot
BEAUVILLIER AND NELSON STAY HOT:
Beauvillier has been on a tear for the Islanders, scoring five goals over the past three games, including the Isles first goal of the game in the second period. Beauvillier started the season off hot for the Isles with four points (2G, 2A) through the first three games of the season before drying up his production. While Beauvillier wasn't finding the back of the net until recently, the Sorel Tracey, Quebec native credited his offseason refresh and boost in confidence coming into this year.
"It's a lot of fun playing with [Nelson] and [Brassard]," Beauvillier said. "It's been good for us so far. We definitely want to keep that going. We want to keep creating loose pucks and creating chances. It's fun playing hockey when you're playing in the offensive zone. I feel like that's what we've been doing, and we want to keep that going."
Nelson, who is on a four-game point streak, scored his first of the night to tie the score 2-2 early in the second period. Nelson's eventful night also included a first period scare when Nelson was hit in the helmet with the puck Ryan Pulock's point shot during the Isles first power play of the evening.
"For safety, I had to come off," Nelson said. "It was fortunate it caught all helmet. It left a dent and a crack. That was a good shot by Pully."
Video: NYI@PIT: Nelson redirects Leddy's one-timer
CIZIKAS PLAYS IN 500TH GAME:
Casey Cizikas skated in his 500th-career NHL game on Tuesday, all of which were played as an Islander. The 28-year-old winger was drafted in the fourth round (92nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Cizikas is coming off of a career-best 33-point (20G, 13A) season in which he hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. Now, in the ninth season of his NHL career the winger has six points (3G, 3A) through 13 games played.
It was fitting for Cizikas to hit the impressive milestone in the very building where he had scored his first NHL goal. On January 29, 2013 Cizikas beat former Penguins goaltender Marc Andre-Fleury on a wraparound.
The Islanders and Penguins rematch on Thursday night at Barclays Center. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.