Islanders 4, Senators 4

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OTTAWA (AP)—The Ottawa Senators are proving to be a very tough team to beat—even when they fall far behind.

Todd White, Martin Havlat and Zdeno Chara scored in the third period to help Ottawa overcome a four-goal deficit and tie the New York Islanders 4-4 Thursday night.

Patrick Lalime made 34 saves for the Senators, who earned a point for the 14th time in their last 15 games (10-1-4).

“It’s a huge point,” Lalime said. “Going down 4-0—things weren’t going our way and we got out of our game plan a little bit, but the good thing is with the team we have, we know we have the offense to come back.”

Michael Peca scored twice, and Mattias Weinhandl and Mariusz Czerkawski had power-play goals as New York took a four-goal lead 14:13 into the second.

Ottawa rookie Josh Langfeld scored for the second straight game at 14:30, just 17 seconds after Peca’s second goal, to draw the Senators within three.

“If you get to the end of the second period at 4-0, then you can sort of regroup and play it tight in the third period, but at 4-1, they got excited,” Islanders coach Steve Stirling said.

White scored a power-play goal 3:17 into the third and Havlat made it 4-3 when he scored off a turnover by Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson at 5:40.

Chara completed the comeback with Ottawa’s third goal in 5:14 when he drove a slap shot past goaltender Garth Snow for another power-play goal at 8:31.

“It wasn’t a very good start for us,” Chara said. “We started a little sloppy there and they capitalized on the mistakes we made. It definitely wasn’t the start we wanted to have. The important thing is we regrouped after the second period and we played simple hockey for the last 20 minutes.”

Both teams went 2-for-7 on the power play. The Islanders had five opportunities in the second period alone. Ottawa went 2-for-4 in the third.

Referees Stephane Auger and Dave Jackson were soundly booed by the Corel Centre crowd when they skated onto the ice for the third period in the wake of a flurry of questionable calls against both teams late in the second. Auger fell as he skated backward early in the third, drawing a big cheer.

“There were a lot of different calls, that’s for sure,” Chara said. “It was always something. Either you were on the power play or you were penalty killing.”

The Islanders, who were coming off consecutive losses to the New York Rangers, have just one win in their last seven games (1-4-2).

“It just proves that we have to show up for 60 minutes,” said Jonsson, who made an awful pass in his own zone which led directly to Havlat’s goal. “We can’t play well for 40 minutes and then play like we did in the third period.”

Peca had the Islanders heading in the right direction when he jumped on a rebound of Trent Hunter’s shot and fired the puck into a wide-open net 8:30 in.

Weinhandl scored his fourth of the season on a power play at 14:25 to make it 2-0. Czerkawski gave New York its second straight power-play goal midway through the second, scoring his 15th after the puck bounced back toward the net off Senators defenseman Karel Rachunek.

Hunter got his second assist 2:19 later on Peca’s second goal.

Langfeld, who scored his first NHL goal Tuesday in a 4-0 win at New Jersey, helped begin the momentum shift when he converted Shaun Van Allen’s cross-ice pass to make it 4-1 at 14:30.

White made it a two-goal game with his ninth of the season 3:17 into the third.

Ottawa caught a huge break moments later when Jonsson’s attempted pass from the right corner to defenseman Janne Niinimaa behind the goal went badly astray. The puck struck the outside of the right post and Havlat lunged to poke the puck in just inside the left post at 5:40 before Snow could react.

“I was just trying to get it right behind the net to (Niinimaa) and I guess I missed him by seven feet,” Jonsson said. “I felt right away that it was wrong.”

Chara tied it with the Senators’ fourth straight goal at 8:31.

Notes

Snow made 40 saves. … It was Peca’s first two-goal game Feb. 23, when he scored twice in a 4-4 tie with Boston. … Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson missed the game because of the flu. Ottawa recalled forward DenisHamel from Binghamton of the AHL.

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Three Stars

  Game Tying Goal
Z. Chara Z. Chara
Ottawa Senators
Scored at 8:31 of 3rd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Garth Snow NYI 44 40
Patrick Lalime Buf 38 34