UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Chris Kunitz scored his second power-play goal of the game 8:34 into overtime, off a pass from Sidney Crosby, and the Pittsburgh Penguins shook off an early deficit and a late blown lead to beat the New York Islanders 5-4 on Sunday in Game 3 of the first-round series.
The Eastern Conference’s top-seeded team rode severe ups and downs in taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.
Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 just 5:41 in but rallied to lead 3-2 before the first period was over. The comeback started with power-play goals just 19 seconds apart by Jarome Iginla and Kunitz.
The Penguins seemed in control in the third period, but New York erased a 4-2 deficit on goals by Kyle Okposo and John Tavares.
Pittsburgh will try to take a commanding 3-1 series lead Tuesday night on Long Island.
Crosby, who had three assists in his second game back after missing a month because of a broken jaw, drew the decisive penalty against Brian Strait, who held the Penguins captain as he drove the net 33 seconds before the winning goal.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma used his timeout to rest his power-play unit, and it paid off. Crosby fed Kunitz in the slot for a hard shot that beat goalie Evgeni Nabokov to win it.
WILD 3, BLACKHAWKS 2, OT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)—Jason Zucker scored at 2:15 of overtime to give Minnesota a victory over Chicago, pulling the Wild within 2-1 in the Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Zach Parise scored for the Wild early in the third period, but Duncan Keith got one back for the Blackhawks with 2:46 left in regulation to force the second overtime in three games of this best-of-seven series. Game 4 is here on Tuesday night.
Keith’s snap shot glanced off Wild defenceman Marco Scandella and past goalie Josh Harding to make the score 2-2.
But after Matt Cullen ferociously chased the puck along the end boards in the opening action of overtime, Zucker swooped in to surprise Johnny Oduya as the Blackhawks defenceman was about to fight for possession with Cullen.
Zucker’s bad-angle shot slipped past goalie Corey Crawford.
SENATORS 6, CANADIENS 1
OTTAWA (AP)—Jean-Gabriel Pageau got his first NHL hat trick to lead Ottawa in a fight-filled victory over Montreal.
The teams combined for 236 penalty minutes and nine players were given a game misconduct.
The Senators have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and Game 4 is Tuesday night in Ottawa.
The third period started out with the Senators leading 2-1, but after Pageau’s second goal of the night and a Kyle Turris goal at 7:00, emotions overflowed and a line brawl broke out at centre ice.
Pageau, who was born in Ottawa, scored his second of the game at 1:18 of the third period to give the Senators a 3-1 lead.
Turris’ goal, his first of the series, at 7:00 put the game out of reach.
On the ensuing faceoff, four different fights broke out.
The Senators ended up with the man advantage and Jakob Silfverberg scored on the power play as he beat Habs goalie Carey Price up high to make it 5-1 only 8 seconds after Turris’ goal.
SHARKS 5, CANUCKS 2
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)—Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice to spoil Cory Schneider’s return to the nets for Vancouver and San Jose won its third straight game to open the playoffs, beating the Canucks.
Pavelski scored the first two goals and Couture and Patrick Marleau added scores 9 seconds apart to break the game open early in the third period and give the Sharks a 3-0 series lead.
Couture added a second power-play goal early in the third to end Schneider’s night and give him a playoff-best four points for the game. Antti Niemi made 28 saves.
San Jose will attempt to complete the first series sweep in franchise history at home on Tuesday night.
Alex Burrows and Dan Hamhuis scored for the Canucks.