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New York Islanders 3, Boston Bruins 3 FINAL OT

NHL.com @NHL

BOSTON (AP) -- The New York Islanders celebrated like winners, while the Boston Bruins were left to wonder how they let a valuable point in the standings slip away.

Trent Hunter and Adrian Aucoin scored four minutes apart midway through the third period, helping the Islanders tie the Bruins 3-3 on Saturday night.

With Boston looking as if it was in control and en route to its second straight home win, the Islanders struck for a pair of goals.

"That was a good point," New York coach Steve Stirling said.

The Bruins' Patrice Bergeron scored a power-play goal late in the second period, and Sandy McCarthy made it 3-1 early in the third, before Hunter and Aucoin scored.

"The boys battled tonight. We were down 3-1 and could have eventually quit," Hunter said. "We weren't going to give up. It's definitely great to get a point out of it."

Boston, which has struggled at home most of the season was hoping to build on a 3-2 win over Toronto at the FleetCenter on Thursday night

"It's disappointing because when you're up 3-1 at home after two periods you feel like you should get two points," Boston defenseman Sean O'Donnell said. "The minute you let up the other team smells blood and they come after you. That's what they did tonight."

New York is 6-1-1 in its last seven games, while Boston dropped to 1-5-5 in its last 11 home games.

"Anytime you have a two-goal lead you're disappointed," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Islanders started their rally when Hunter scored out of scramble in front with just over 12 minutes left.

Aucoin's wrist shot from the slot slipped off goalie Felix Potvin's glove and into the net, tying the game with 8:10 left in regulation.

"I think it might have kind of knuckled on him," Aucoin said.

Potvin admitted the shot fooled him.

"I really don't know what happened," he said. "It just dipped. It was going in my glove and it dipped at the last second."

Sergei Samsonov also scored for Boston. Mariusz Czerkawski had the Islanders' first goal.

McCarthy's goal gave Boston a 3-1 lead 2:40 into the third period. He beat goalie Garth Snow with a slap shot from the right circle, but New York cut it to one on Hunter's goal with 12:10 to play.

Boston moved ahead 2-1 when Mike Knuble, who had a pair of assists, tipped a soft pass to Bergeron. The 18-year-old rookie shifted before beating Snow with a wrist shot for his 10th goal.

Boston opened the scoring on Samsonov's goal 32 seconds into the game. New York tied it midway through the first period, with Czerkawski finishing off a two-on-one break by slipping a shot between Potvin's pads.

The Islanders had won six straight prior to a 1-0 loss in Ottawa on Thursday night. That streak came shortly after losing a season-high seven in a row.

"I think we learned a lot after our long stretch of losing that there's always a chance," Aucoin said.

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