The New York Islanders didn't let a two-goal deficit or a blown lead in the final seconds of regulation keep them from leaving Wells Fargo Center with a much-needed two points.
Josh Bailey's goal in the fourth round of the shootout gave the Islanders a 4-3 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
The Islanders overcame an early 2-0 deficit and went ahead 3-2 late in the third period on a pair of goals by fourth-line forward Colin McDonald. But New York's Frans Nielsen was called for a faceoff violation with 1:30 left in regulation, and Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell whacked home a rebound with 29.8 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
After a scoreless five minutes, Philadelphia's Claude Giroux and New York's Brad Boyes scored in the second round of the tiebreaker. Evgeni Nabokov stopped two shots, and Ilya Bryzgalov denied John Tavares before Bailey ended the game by ripping a wrist shot into the right corner.
"I had an idea of what I wanted to do beforehand," Bailey said. "I tried to give him a little fake and go low blocker-side, and was happy to see it go in the back of the net."
The Islanders continue to thrive away from Nassau Coliseum, where their 6-11-2 record is among the worst home marks in the NHL. Thursday's victory followed a 3-2 win at the Washington Capitals on Tuesday and lifted their road record to 10-4-2.
"We found a way," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We didn't quit and we'll take the two points. They're a big team over there, a fast team, and we kept going."
The Islanders (16-15-3) are ninth in the Eastern Conference with 35 points. The eighth-place New York Rangers, who lost to the Ottawa Senators 3-0 on Thursday, also have 35 but have played one fewer game.
"We need the two points in any way shape or form, so we'll take it and try to build from it," Tavares said. "We started slow, but every line contributed and we battled back. We finished checks, created opportunities down low and it feels good to get this one here.
"We turned it over too many times and dug ourselves a hole, but we turned it around and you could really feel it swinging our way. We really felt there in the third that it was just a matter of time."
The Flyers, who couldn't hold an early lead after Hartnell and Mike Knuble scored in the first period, fell to 13-17-2. They're on the verge of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.
"We feel like we are a team that should be in the playoffs and we're not," said Flyers captain Giroux, who set up two first-period goals. "We need to find a way to get those points like tonight. It's not that we didn't battle, it's just bounces that go in. So it's tough bounces, but like I said, we feel we are a team that should be in the playoffs right now."
The Flyers came out far more spirited than they did for Tuesday's 5-2 home loss to the Rangers and grabbed the lead by capitalizing on their first power play. With Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky off for interference, Hartnell took a pass from Giroux in the left circle and misfired on a wrist shot. But the fluttering puck fooled Nabokov and knuckled into the far corner at 4:14 for Hartnell's third of the season.
The Islanders rebounded by putting plenty of pressure on Bryzgalov, taking eight consecutive shots at one point. But the Flyers turned a giveaway during a line change into the game's second goal. New York defenseman Thomas Hickey threw a pass to no one in particular from just outside his blue line; Giroux grabbed it and raced in on a quick 2-on-1 with Knuble. The 40-year-old forward took Giroux's perfect pass, deked Nabokov and slid a backhander into a wide-open net at 17:25 for his third of the season.
The Islanders, who were blanked 7-0 at home by Bryzgalov and the Flyers on Presidents Day, finally put a puck past him -- but Andrew MacDonald's blast crossed the goal line about a half-second before the first period ran out, sending the Flyers off with a 2-0 lead.
New York finally got one that counted with 60 seconds left in the second period. After some sustained pressure by the Islanders, Tavares grabbed the puck in the lower right circle and backhanded it toward the slot, where it hit the skate of Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn and went into the net. It was Tavares' 21st of the season; only Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (23) has more.
"It seemed like we stopped pressing offensively like we had been, and that can be dangerous," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said.
Capuano said Tavares' goal gave his team a boost entering the final period.
"All of a sudden we were one shot away," Capuano said. "[Nabokov] made a big save right before that to keep it 2-0, and it easily could have been 3-0. Any time you’re plus or minus in the first or last minute of a period, it’s huge."
McDonald tied the game at 10:04 of the third, firing a pass from Keith Aucoin behind Bryzgalov, and gave the Islanders the lead with 4:23 left in regulation when he picked up a deflected clearing pass and ripped a slapper from the high slot that ticked the skate of Flyers defenseman Bruno Gervais and went into the net.
"That third period was a good period for us," McDonald said. "I thought we started off pretty slow. We just have to continue to get better. We’re figuring out how we need to play: playing physical, getting pucks in. Not just one or two lines, but all four lines. We just need to really focus on that this weekend."
The Islanders continue their road trip Saturday afternoon, when they'll try to end the Pittsburgh Penguins' 14-game winning streak.
Material from team media was used in this report