The New York Islanders took a point in their first game out of the break, but couldn't bag the second, falling 2-1 to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night at Pepsi Center.
Thomas Greiss (37 saves) and Calvin Pickard (35 saves) starred in a goalie's duel for 64 minutes, as the Islanders appeared destined to test their luck in the shootout, but Nathan MacKinnon potted the power play game-winner with 17 seconds to play.
"We put up a pretty good hockey game after our break," John Tavares said. "We had chances, we just didn't score on them. We got an unfortunate call in overtime. Those are tough to kill and they did a good job up until the goal and an unfortunate bounce."
Overtime was an absolute thrill ride, as the team's volleyed breakaways and odd-man rushes back-and-forth. Thomas Hickey was denied by Pickard, but the Avs goalie headmanned the puck to Rene Bourque, who forced Greiss to stop an OT breakaway. Greiss sent it right back, continuing a frantic sequence that led to at least two more chances for both teams. Eventually Calvin de Haan was whistled for hooking, setting up the OT power play.
Video: NYI@COL: Greiss extends pad to stone Bourque in OT
"I thought we played a pretty good game," Travis Hamonic said. "It's a frustrating way to lose at the end, but we certainly had our fair share - that was the most active overtime that we've seen this year. We had an opportunity ourselves."
Greiss was sharp from the get-go Friday, as the Islanders' goalie was solid early as the Islanders shook off the rust of a five-day break. Aside from Gabriel Landeskog's ice breaker, Greiss stopped 11 first period shots, including a glove save on a Matt Nieto penalty shot.
Video: NYI@COL: Greiss stands tall, snares penalty shot
"If you get goaltending you always have a chance to win," head coach Jack Capuano said. "I thought Greiss made some big saves."
But the Islanders steadily improved as the game wore on, seemingly adjusting to being back on the ice, as well as acclimating to playing at high altitude. Johnny Boychuk tied the score with a rocket one-timer on a five-on-three at 17:34.
Video: NYI@COL: Boychuk buries blistering shot for PPG
Tied 1-1 in the third, Greiss was called upon to make some timely saves. The Islanders new number one snared a Jarome Iginla one-timer on an Avalanche power play, minutes before robbing Mikko Rantanen on a two-on-one rush with MacKinnon. The Islanders had their own chances late, but couldn't convert.
The Islanders don't have long to rue the missed point in Colorado, as they return to action on Saturday night in Arizona. Puck drop is at 8 p.m. ET.