“We played well enough to deserve the two points,” Niittymaki said. “When you get down a goal, you have to pick up the pace and that’s what Danny did for us. We’ve had some games where it’s been tough creating goals but we’re playing well and getting the opportunities.”
Dwayne Roloson stopped 37 shots and P.J. Parenteau scored for the Islanders. They lost their ninth straight game, but did earn a point for the first time since Oct. 21.
“I guess that’s a positive but close doesn’t cut it any more,” Roloson said. “We have to stop the bleeding right now.”
“It was a little weird because my timing was off,” Thornton said. “It was a good two points and we’ll get better. You have to be patient and eventually it goes in.”
Parenteau scored at 4:51 of the second period to give the Islanders their first lead during their losing streak. He beat a defender to the puck behind the net, skated around and had plenty of time to fire a shot from the slot into the upper-right corner past Niittymaki.
“We played great but it’s tough,” Parenteau said. “It’s got to end Saturday. It’s so important for us to score the first goal and get a lead. We have to generate offense.”
“We were down a goal there and had the 5-on-3,” Pavelski said. “You have to attack the net in that situation. We scored quickly and that gave us another chance.”
Roloson, playing his fourth straight game, was temporarily stunned by Boyle’s shot that bounced off his chest and hit his helmet, snapping his neck back. The 41-year-old goalie also took a puck off his mask.
“The best part of his game was on the four power plays in the second period,” New York coach Scott Gordon said. “Those were his best saves.”
“Nitty made a couple of really good saves in the shootout,” Sharks’ coach Todd McLellan said. “We made a couple of real good moves at the end and two points are in the bank.”
Boyle then ended the game with his goal in the third round of the tiebreaker.