Senators 5, Islanders 3

Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Sergei Gonchar's goal with exactly one minute left Tuesday night capped a stunning third-period comeback for the Ottawa Senators, who scored four goals in the final 20 minutes to beat the New York Islanders 5-3 at Nassau Coliseum.
Guillaume Latendressse added an empty netter in the final 10 seconds for the Senators, who pulled even earlier in the period when Jakob Silfverberg and Zack Smith scored 68 seconds apart.
Matt Kassian also scored for the Senators (16-8-6), who won their third in a row despite being outshot 21-13 and trailing 3-1 through two periods.
Goalie Ben Bishop made 26 saves for the Senators, who lost another player for an extended period of time earlier Tuesday when Milan Michalek underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his right knee.
Michalek scored a team-high 35 goals last year but missed 14 of the last 16 games with the knee injury. He joins a who's who of injured Senators, including Craig Anderson (sprained right ankle), Jared Cowen (hip surgery), Erik Karlsson (Achilles tendon) and Jason Spezza (back surgery).
Keith Aucoin, Josh Bailey and Lubomir Visnovsky scored for the Islanders, who suffered a potentially crushing loss as their two-game winning streak was halted. The Islanders (13-13-3) entered the day in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and missed a chance to gain on the eighth-place Devils and ninth-place Rangers, who played each other Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
The Islanders had a potential go-ahead goal waved off following a review with 12:38 to play. Aucoin appeared to beat Bishop in a flurry in front of the Senators' net, but replay showed he kicked the puck into the net.
The Islanders fell to 5-9-2 at the Coliseum -- by far the worst home record of any playoff contender -- as their streak of five straight home games in which they recorded at least one point came to an end.
New York appeared headed for an easy win when Bailey and Visnovsky scored in the second, but the Islanders were again haunted by their inability to close as the Senators quickly tied the score in the third.
The Senators cut the gap in half 1:07 into the third when Patrick Wiercioch intercepted a clearing pass by Radek Martinek and fired a scorching slap shot from the blue line. The puck deflected off the stick of Silfverberg and over the left shoulder of Evgeni Nabokov.
Ottawa tied it off a faceoff a mere 1:08 later when Smith turned, whirled and fired the puck past Nabokov (18 saves).
Against the Panthers on Sunday, the Islanders blew a three-goal lead in a span of just 1:43 before pulling out a 4-3 win.
The Senators opened the scoring in the first thanks to a somewhat fluky goal. Sergei Gonchar's shot from just in front of the blue line ticked off the stick of Kassian, who was being shielded by Martinek, and past Nabokov.
The Islanders responded with three unanswered goals. After squandering a pair of power plays in the first, the Islanders tied it with 2:07 left when Kyle Okposo led a pair of defenders past the Senators' goal and dished backwards and across the ice to Aucoin, who beat Bishop from the right faceoff circle.
In the second, Bailey took a pass from Okposo, faked Bishop in front of the net and beat him with a backhand just 14 seconds into the second period. Bailey's goal was the earliest the Islanders have scored in a period all season and the fifth time they have scored in the first minute of a period.
Visnovsky extended the lead to 3-1 at the 11:46 mark after a pretty power play sequence. Brad Boyes passed to Matt Moulson, who was positioned to the left of the net. Moulson passed the puck across the goalmouth to Visnovsky, who poked it past Bishop.
NOTES: The Islanders scratched defenseman Joe Finley, while the Senators scratched winger Kaspars Daugavins. ... The Islanders were one of three NHL teams to enter the night averaging less than one point per home game. The other two, the Sabres (5-6-2 at home) and the Panthers (4-8-5 at home), began Tuesday with two of the three lowest point totals in the NHL. ... Islanders winger Michael Grabner didn't come off injured reserve Tuesday, the first date he was eligible to do so. Grabner has missed the past three games with a shoulder injury. ... The Senators' streak of 11 straight one-goal games was one shy of the NHL record set by the Blackhawks during the 1997-98 season. ... The Senators were swept by the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum twice in Ottawa's first 19 NHL seasons.

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