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game recap

Hickey lifts Islanders by Panthers in overtime

Defenseman scores at 12:31; New York wins Game 3, takes 2-1 series lead

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Thomas Hickey is no stranger to scoring overtime goals.

Hickey, whose overtime goal on April 5 put the New York Islanders into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, scored at 12:31 of OT on Sunday to give the Islanders a 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Barclays Center.

Josh Bailey won a battle along the boards to get the puck to Brock Nelson behind the net. He found Hickey, a defenseman, coming down the slot for a one-timer that beat Roberto Luongo. It was Hickey's first Stanley Cup Playoff goal in 11 games.

"I'm coming out of my blackout right now," Hickey said. "I just wanted to shoot the puck in overtime. There's never a bad shot. ... Hopefully I have bigger goals to come."

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm3: Hickey lights the lamp for OT winner

The Islanders took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 4 is in Brooklyn on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports 2, SUN, MSG+).

"When you talk about toughness, I've always defined it as taking a hit to make a play and that's what [Hickey] does. ... It's always good to see a guy like that get rewarded," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.

New York rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits in the second period to send the game into overtime.

Florida took a 2-0 lead 1:11 into the second when Aleksander Barkov put in a bouncing puck that came to him at the side of the net after Reilly Smith's shot came off the end boards.

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm3: Barkov gives Panthers a two-goal lead

The Panthers appeared to score again at 4:08 when Aaron Ekblad beat Thomas Greiss; however, the Islanders challenged, saying that forward Jonathan Huberdeau was offside. After a review, the goal was overturned.

"Our video coach did a great job calling that into us tonight and I think that was the turning point," Capuano said. "[Being] down by two is a lot different than down by three."

The Islanders scored 1:13 later to make it 2-1. Ryan Pulock beat Luongo with a slap shot during a 5-on-3 power play at 5:21, after passes from Kyle Okposo and John Tavares.

Nick Bjugstad then gave the Panthers their two-goal lead back at 7:23 to make it 3-1. Smith had an assist on the goal. He had a goal and two assists on Sunday and has four goals and four assists in the series.

But the Islanders tied the game later in the period. Shane Prince beat Luongo from the slot off a feed from Pulock at 11:48, and Frans Nielsen's power-play backhander at 16:55 tied the game 3-3.

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm3: Nielsen ties it up on the power play

"They scored, but we scored right back to make it 3-1," Luongo said. "We just got in some penalty trouble there and started not managing the puck as good as we should for the last 10 minutes of the second and it cost us."

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead 2:25 into the game on a goal by Smith. Defenseman Alex Petrovic's shot from the blue line was stopped by Greiss, but the rebound came to Smith at the side of the net and he put it over the outstretched goaltender.

"We usually try to concentrate on getting that first goal," Prince said. "You never want to be battling from behind but the good thing is, we got the team that's able to do that. It's a huge comeback tonight, and we'll try to get the first goal the next game."

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm3: Prince scores off feed from Pulock

Greiss made 36 saves, including eight in overtime. Luongo made 35 saves.

New York will try to take a 3-1 series lead on Wednesday; the Islanders have not led a series by two games since the first round against the Washington Capitals in 1993.

The Islanders haven't won two playoff games in a row since they took Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2002. New York has lost 11 straight playoff games following a win.

"We just have to put [this game] behind us and try and win two in a row," Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said.

Florida was 0-for-3 on the power play. The Panthers are 1-for-7 in the series.

"We are down two games to one, but all three games were tight games and could have gone either way. We could be easily up 2-1 ourselves," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "We have to battle back and get ready for the next game and hopefully get it back to 2-2."

Video: Hickey scores in overtime, Islanders take series lead

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