The New York Islanders got the type of effort they needed on Friday night, but only got one of the points they needed, falling 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime at Barclays Center.
The Islanders hung with the Penguins to get the game to overtime, but the 3-on-3 format favored Pittsburgh's speed. Shortly after Nick Leddy broke up a Phil Kessel breakaway, Kris Letang scored the OT winner at 1:24, getting loose and finishing a backdoor feed from Sidney Crosby.
"I thought we played well, it's just how it's going right now," Shane Prince said. "We can't get a bounce to squeak out a win, especially in overtime. I thought we played well and if we play like that every night we'll be fine."
Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Islanders, while Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves in the overtime loss.
"We gave ourselves a chance, but didn't sustain enough," John Tavares said. "They obviously created some opportunities in overtime to capitalize."
Video: PIT@NYI: Nelson puts wrist shot past Murray for PPG
The Penguins controlled the play in the first period, outshooting the Islanders 16-5 and taking a 1-0 lead on a Sidney Crosby power-play goal, but the Islanders came to life with a pair of quick strikes in the second period.
Nelson struck first with a power-play goal, taking a cross-ice pass from Ryan Strome and beating Matt Murray with a long-range wrister at 1:51.
Forty-three seconds later the Islanders took the lead, as Beauvillier stripped Letang at the blue line for a breakaway and beat Murray with a forehand-backhand deke at 2:34.
Video: PIT@NYI: Beauvillier scores beautiful breakaway goal
The Islanders outshot the Penguins 11-4 in the middle frame, but the Penguins capitalized on one of their few chances, as Trevor Daley crept in off the blue line and stepped into a slapper at 13:55.
Daley's goal was enough to force OT, as neither team broke through in the third period, despite the Penguins outshooting the Islanders 14-5. Phil Kessel's breakaway chance was thwarted by Nick Leddy in overtime, but Letang followed up less than a minute later for the winner.
"We played a tough opponent and played well," head coach Jack Capuano said. "We took a good team to overtime and unfortunately for our guys, 3-on-3, it's one of those things."
Special teams played a factor in the Islanders struggles of late, but they shored them up on Friday night. Crosby's power-play goal aside, the penalty kill went 4-for-5, including a pair of aggressive kills in the second period, featuring some key blocks by rookie Adam Pelech, and a timely kill in the third. The power play went 1-for-2, both of which were encouraging signs for Jack Capuano.
"We gave up some chances and it was good for us to get the power-play goal," Capuano said. "Any time you get goaltending and special teams, 99% of the time you're going to be in the game and that's what happened tonight. We were good there."
After playing seven-of-nine at home, the Islanders embark on a three-game, Western California road trip, starting on Tuesday night in Anaheim. Puck drop is at 10 p.m. E