Bailey lifts Islanders past Penguins 4-3 in OT in Game 1
By VIN A. CHERWOO
AP Sports Writer
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Josh Bailey scored on a rebound at 4:39 of overtime and the New York Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Wednesday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist, and Brock Nelson and Nick Leddy also scored for New York, which was opening a postseason series at home for the first time in 31 years. Robin Lehner stopped 41 shots.
Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin each had a goal and an assist, and Justin Schultz also scored for the Penguins. Matt Murray finished with 29 saves.
On the winning goal, Mathew Barzal brought the puck into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 break, faked in front to draw Murray out and sent a backhand shot that bounced off the left post, but Bailey was there to knock it in.
Game 2 is Friday night back at the Nassau Coliseum.
Tom Kuhnhackl, who had a goal in the opening minute of the game waved off for offside, nearly won it for the Islanders 1:12 into the extra period as he crashed into Murray and the puck crossed the goal line but not before the net came loose. The no-goal was confirmed after a review.
The Islanders led three times in regulation with the Penguins managing to tie it each time.
Leddy gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead with 7:25 left in the third as he sent a long shot from left point at the blue line that knuckled past Murray.
With Murray pulled for an extra skater, Schultz fired a one-timer from the left circle past Lehner inside the left post with 1:29 left as the Penguins tied the score for the third time.
Bailey had a chance at the winner for the Islanders in the closing seconds of the third, but his shot hit the right post. It was the second time in the period a New York player hit a goal post as Matt Martin did it in the opening minute.
Malkin tied it 2-2 on a power play with 6:19 left in the middle period as his shot from the inside edge of the right circle deflected off Islander defenseman Adam Pelech's stick and up past Lehner.
The raucous crowd that was chanting "Let's Go Islanders!" from before the teams came out for pregame warmups, roared when the Islanders stepped on the ice and booed loudly when the Penguins followed. They got loud again in the minutes before the teams emerged from their dressing rooms for the start of the game.
Pittsburgh outshot New York 17-12 in the first period, but the Islanders led 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Just more than a minute after Kuhnhackl's opening-minute goal was overturned, Eberle did give the Islanders the lead as he stopped a deflection of Pelech's shot, turned and beat Murray through the five-hole from the right side for his first career postseason goal at 1:40.
The Penguins tied it when Dominik Simon brought the puck down the middle and dropped a pass back to Kessel, who put it past Lehner off the post and in at 5:42.
Nelson put the Islanders back in front on the power play as he got a pass in front from Eberle and put it past Murray with 4:14 left in the opening period.
NOTES: Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang are the only Penguins players remaining from the 2013 playoff series against the Islanders. New York has five players left - Nelson, Josh Bailey, Casey Cizikas, Thomas Hickey and Matt Martin. ... Kessel also scored in each of the last three games during the regular season. ... Malkin's goal was his 63rd in the playoffs, breaking a tie with Bobby Hull for sole possession of 26th place on the NHL's career list. ... Islanders coach Barry Trotz and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan are facing off in the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The previous three were all in the second round while Trotz was with Washington, and the winner of Penguins-Capitals series went on to win the Stanley Cup each time.
Game 2 is Friday night before the series shifts to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4.
Follow Vin Cherwoo at www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP
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