UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—Chris Campoli had a hat trick unlike any other.
The defenseman, derailed by shoulder injuries in consecutive seasons, scored his first two goals in nearly a year. The second hit the net 3:13 into overtime, and the New York Islanders overcame another blown three-goal lead in the third period to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 Monday night.
In a wacky final sequence, the defenseman got to a loose puck after teammate Mike Comrie lost it in the Columbus zone and fired a shot past Fredrik Norrena. Play continued as Campoli celebrated prematurely and then waved his arms to signal that he scored, to no avail. He then took a pass in the slot and drilled another shot into the center of the net.
After further review, Campoli was proven right. His initial shot went in. He put three pucks in and got credit for two.
“I saw it go inside the post,” said Campoli, who missed a chunk of last season and the first five games of this one. “It was a bizarre play that it came back to me and I put it in again. Everyone’s joking that I had a hat trick. I’d take one, don’t get me wrong. Nothing surprises us any more.”
A wild celebration ensued as New York snapped an 0-5-1 skid following a 2-2 start.
Campoli’s short-handed tally capped a second period in which the Islanders took a 3-0 lead, connecting three times within 11:07. Richard Park and Bill Guerin had the other goals for New York, which is tied with Los Angeles for the fewest points in the NHL (7).
The Blue Jackets came away with a point after a furious third period in which they erased a 3-0 deficit. R.J. Umberger scored Columbus’ final two goals after defenseman Marc Methot started the comeback.
“The biggest thing we did was outwork them,” captain Rick Nash said. “It showed we have a lot of character and we don’t give up.”
Columbus, the last-place team in the Central Division, is 1-3-2 in its last six. The Blue Jackets were nearly the second team in three nights to get out of Long Island with a win after trailing by three in the third. Montreal used a four-goal frame Saturday to beat the Islanders 5-4 in regulation.
“If you asked me that after two periods, I’d say yes,” Norrena said about this being a good point. “But after the third period, I think this is a game we should have won.”
Winning has been such a struggle, that the Islanders were happy to have a victory in any way.
“We’re gaining experience as we go along,” the 37-year-old Guerin said. “Tonight was a good sign because we got two points.”
Umberger tied it with his second of the night with 8:58 left in the third.
Joey MacDonald, subbing for injured Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, was on track for his first NHL shutout, but those hopes were dashed when Methot scored and Umberger followed 1:12 later in the first five minutes of the third.
After a scoreless first period in which the Islanders were outshot 13-7, New York broke out despite being whistled for all four penalties.
The Islanders made it 2-0 when Guerin got the puck from Park just as he left the penalty box and skated alone into the Columbus zone. Guerin shifted to the right of the prone Norrena and put the puck in at 10:16.
The Blue Jackets were on another power play when Columbus defenseman Christian Backman was about to be called for a penalty. New York put the pressure on during the delayed call, and while players piled up in front, Campoli drifted into the slot and slammed in a loose puck with 5:45 left.
Campoli, who missed a large chunk of last season due to a shoulder injury, scored for the first time since Dec. 29, 2007—a span of only 14 games.
Columbus needed only 28 seconds of a power play to make it 3-2 at 3:44 of the third. Umberger got to a rebound and scored between MacDonald’s pads with a second whack at 4:56.
“At the time it’s tough, I’m not going to lie to you,” Guerin said of the squandered lead. “It’s kind of like, ‘Here we go again.’ But then you get the win in overtime. Out of the last six periods of hockey, we’ve played four really good periods.”
Park gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 3:08 of the second. Fredrik Modin had a chance to tie it moments later, but his shot from just outside of the crease went wide of an open net.
The Blue Jackets were 1-for-7 on the power play, including a failed two-man advantage for 56 seconds. New York was 0-for-2. … Columbus D Rostislav Klesla, who played every game last season, was sidelined by an undisclosed injury. … Islanders LW Sean Bergenheim sat out because of an illness. … Modin returned from a six-game absence (groin) and had five shots in the first period.