The New York Islanders were looking for a breakthrough and a reversal of their late-game fortunes and it came in the form of Thomas Hickey's OT winner on Monday night.
Hickey cut to the front of the net and tipped a John Tavares shot past Brian Elliott at 1:53, giving the Islanders a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames at Barclays Center.
"It was a 3-on-2 really because unfortunately for them they had a broken stick," Hickey, a Calgary native, said. "We've been looking for a bounce and claiming we haven't got them, so to get a broken stick in overtime, it's lucky for us and we took advantage."
Video: CGY@NYI: Hickey redirects Tavares' shot for OT winner
The Islanders felt the effort had been there in a pair of hard-luck losses in California, so winning - and winning a low-scoring, grinding affair - was a confidence booster and felt like a just reward.
"I'm just glad with the effort that the guys put in that they were rewarded," head coach Jack Capuano said.
John Tavares and Sean Monahan scored in regulation, while Thomas Greiss made 25 saves for the win.
The Islanders came out with the start they wanted on Monday, skating fast, generating offensive zone time and taking an early lead. Tavares was set up by a nice, no-look backhand feed from Josh Bailey, which the captain accepted and roofed past Elliott at 7:28.
"It was about time, I've had some chances," Tavares said after busting a nine-game goalless drought. "Great play by Bails. I almost had too much time. I was able to read the goalie and pick the corner, so I'll try to build on it."
With Tavares' goal being the only marker for 40 minutes, Greiss was the Islanders' stopper, keeping the Flames at bay with some timely saves through two periods. He denied Deryk Engelland on a first period breakaway, staying with the Flames defenseman kicking out the right pad.
He was busier in the second period, making 11 saves, including another breakaway save - this time on Matt Stajan. Greiss was calm, cool and steady, gloving a Michael Ferland shot, controlling his rebounds and slowing things down when necessary.
Video: CGY@NYI: Greiss uses his shoulder to stone Stajan
"He made a lot of big saves," Bailey said. "He may not have had the biggest numbers for saves, but there were a lot of quality chances and he made big saves on - timely saves."
Monahan's one-timer was the only shot to beat Greiss, as the Flames pressed in the third period, outshooting the Islanders 11-6. Shane Prince had the Islanders best individual chance to break the tie on a breakaway with 8:13 to play, but he couldn't beat Elliott. The Islanders had a late power play, but couldn't convert with 4:51 to play.
In overtime, the Islanders had the better of the chances, as Jason Chimera missed on a breakaway shortly before Hickey's goal. The Islanders may not have had possession for the entire 3-on-3 frame, but they held Calgary without a shot attempt, negating the potential for a goal.
"We found a way to win," Hickey said. "That's tough to give up momentum and give up leads, but it's something to build on."
PELECH LEAVES GAME:
Adam Pelech left Monday's game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return.
The Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on NBCSN.