Kyle Okposo’s first career playoff goal with 7:37 remaining lifted the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Penguins on Friday night at Pittsburgh, evening their playoff series at one game each.
Matt Moulson, Colin McDonald, and Matt Martin also scored for the Islanders, who spoiled Sidney Crosby’s comeback from a broken jaw by rallying from an early two-goal deficit.
Crosby scored twice in the game’s first eight minutes as the Penguins raced to a 3-1 lead. But they couldn’t hold it as the Islanders bounced back from a lifeless performance in Game 1.
Evgeni Nabokov overcame a sluggish start to stop 30 shots as the Islanders won their first playoff game in more than six years.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves for Pittsburgh, which allowed the speedy Islanders to effectively counterpunch all night.
Game 3 is Sunday in New York.
It wasn’t exactly the triumphant return the Penguins expected after doctors cleared Crosby to play after missing more than a month. Pittsburgh crushed the Islanders, 5-0, in the opener Wednesday, and Crosby’s addition to the lineup figured to make the task for the eighth-seeded Islanders more daunting.
Instead, it only seemed to fire up New York.
Though the Penguins raced to a quick lead behind Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the young Islanders kept attacking. The result was the franchise’s first playoff victory since April 14, 2007. Coach Jack Capuano told his players after the debacle in the opener all it took was a bounce here or there to get back in it.
‘‘Our guys, they’re relentless,’’ Capuano said.
The bounce came in the third period, when Okposo fired a shot wide of the net that caromed back to the crease, then rolled off Fleury and across the goal line.
The Penguins couldn’t muster much in return, and the Islanders spilled over the boards after toppling the Eastern Conference’s top seed as a solemn crowd trudged to the exits.
Canadiens 3, Senators 1 — Ryan White started a three-goal second period and Carey Price was back in top form with 29 saves as host Montreal downed Ottawa to even their Eastern Conference playoff series.
Brendan Gallagher and Michael Ryder also scored for Montreal. Milan Michalek scored for Ottawa, which was let down by a power play that went 0 for 4.
There was anticipation of rough play after Eric Gryba’s hit that saw Montreal’s Lars Eller carried off the Bell Centre ice on a stretcher with a concussion and some missing teeth in Ottawa’s 4-2 win in the series opener Thursday night. Eller spent the night in hospital and was released Friday morning.
Gryba served the first of a two-game suspension for his Game 1 hit on Eller and was replaced by Andre Benoit.
Price was sharp throughout the game as Montreal found ways to get pucks past Craig Anderson, who was coming off a 48-save effort in the opener.
Montreal got two quick goals early in the second period.
White skated hard into the Ottawa zone and batted Erik Karlsson’s backhand pass out of the air and between Anderson’s pads at 3:20.
Just 53 seconds later, Alex Galchenyuk took the rebound of a Francis Bouillon shot and slipped it across to Gallagher for the rookie’s second goal of the series.
Sharks 3, Canucks 2 — Raffi Torres scored at 5:31 of overtime to give the Sharks the victory over Vancouver to take a 2-0 lead in the series, which shifts to San Jose for games Sunday and Tuesday. The Sharks are 17-2-5 at home this season.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, whose goal in the final minute of the third period forced overtime, also scored for San Jose.
The Canucks took their sixth consecutive loss in a home playoff game. Now, they might not get another one after winning their fifth consecutive Northwest Division title.
Ryan Kesler scored two third-period goals for Vancouver, helping the Canucks overcome a 1-0 deficit that stood since the first period.
Blackhawks 5, Wild 2 — Patrick Sharp and Michael Frolik had two goals apiece, and host Chicago took a 2-0 lead in its Western Conference series with Minnesota. Game 3 is Sunday afternoon in Minnesota.
Patrick Kane added two assists as Chicago peppered Minnesota goalie Josh Harding. Bryan Bickell added an empty-netter to his overtime goal in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 victory in the opener.
Devin Setoguchi and Marco Scandella scored for the Wild, who are making their first postseason appearance in five years. Harding, once again subbing for Niklas Backstrom, made 43 saves.
Setoguchi gave the Wild a spark when he teamed with Matt Cullen for a beautiful 2-on-1 rush at end of the second period. Cullen passed across the ice to Setoguchi, who beat Corey Crawford into the upper right corner to trim Chicago’s lead to 2-1.