UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ Even goalie Rick DiPietro appreciated this old-style
Mariusz Czerkawski had a goal and two assists within 2:17 late in the third
period and Adrian Aucoin capped New York's incredible comeback by scoring 36
seconds into overtime, lifting the Islanders to a wild 5-4 victory Tuesday
night over the Vancouver Canucks.
``We could have slumped our heads down two goals, but we came back,'' said
DiPietro, who made 21 saves in the victory. ``This was one of the best games
I've seen in a long time.''
Aucoin, the Islanders' lone All-Star, took advantage of a double minor for
high-sticking called against Vancouver's Trevor Linden in the final minute of
regulation. The Islanders scored four goals in the final 3:51 to turn around a
3-1 deficit and win for the 19th time in 28 home games (19-8-1).
``This is what every fan loves _ a barnburner right down to the wire,''
Aucoin said. ``I don't blame any fans who left early. We stunk the joint out.''
For the Canucks, it was their second straight tough loss. Vancouver rallied
from a 3-1 hole in the third period Monday against the New York Rangers, only
to give up a late goal and have a five-game winning streak snapped.
The Canucks were 19-0 when leading after two periods.
``We played real well for 55 minutes,'' Linden said. ``I don't know if
there's any way to explain what happened at the end.''
After Vancouver fell behind 4-3 on Michael Peca's goal with 1:58 left, the
Canucks got even when Henrik Sedin scored off a pass from Todd Bertuzzi 36
Henrik set up twin brother, Daniel, with 7:07 left in the third to give the
Canucks a 3-1 lead. But the Islanders roared back.
Czerkawski cut down the slot to deflect in Peca's shot to make it 3-2 with
4:15 left. Then he made a nice pass into the slot to Arron Asham, who scored at
16:52. It took only 1:10 more for Peca to take a pass from Czerkawski and make
``It is fun,'' Peca said of the Islanders' second straight win when trailing
after 40 minutes. ``I think that people enjoy watching the Western Conference
over the Eastern Conference because it's more wide open.''
Vancouver rookies Martin Grenier and Wade Brookbank, known more for their
fists than scoring touch, scored in the second period to stake the Canucks to a
The Canucks won the first two games on their five-game Eastern swing, but
are 2-2 on the trip that concludes Thursday at New Jersey. Vancouver has still
won 10 times in 13 road games.
``We managed to get a point from here, and even though it's not two, it's
fine,'' Bertuzzi said. ``We have a never-say-die attitude, and we showed that
when we tied it.''
New York has won the most home games among Eastern Conference teams and has
earned points in six straight games (4-0-1-1). The Islanders were 0-17-2 when
trailing after two periods before Saturday.
Grenier and Brookbank entered with only one NHL goal between them, scored by
Brookbank Saturday at Washington.
It was Grenier's first point in 12 career games. He had four goals, seven
points and 109 penalty minutes in 28 games this season with Manitoba of the
AHL. Brookbank has two points in the NHL, both goals, in 16 games. He has 59
penalty minutes with the Canucks, including the 10 he received during his debut
Daniel Sedin stretched the lead to 3-1 with 7:07 left after taking a pass
from Henrik. Dave Scatchard brought the Islanders within 2-1 when he scored his
first in eight games.
The Islanders didn't record a shot until only 3:28 remained in the first,
and yielded 11 before then.
``We were on our heels early. We gave them too much respect,'' Peca said.
``We thought they might be tiring out, so we made sure to step it up later.''
Vancouver had the upper hand throughout the period after Radek Martinek was
given a major penalty and ejected for knocking Brad May into the boards just
under nine minutes in.
Johan Hedberg stopped 23 saves in his second game since Dec. 9.