Jack Capuano asked for secondary scoring, and he got it Friday night as the New York Islanders beat the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in overtime win at Scotiabank Place.
Mark Eaton scored the game-winner in his 600th career game, a backhand spin-o-rama off of a pass from Milan Jurcina at 2:35 into OT, winning a crucial two points for the Isles.
“Juice [Jurcina] passed up a shot in the slot, I don’t know if that’s a great idea,” Eaton joked. “He made a great play to me and I just found a way to put it in the net.”
Eaton’s teammates were ecstatic for him after he scored the game-winner. The defensive defenseman hadn’t scored since Nov. 28, 2009.
“It’s nice to see a guy like Mark Eaton score,” John Tavares said. “He has done a lot of great things for us this year, the little things that don’t always get a lot of press.”
The Isles trailed by one going into the final frame against one of the NHL’s best third period teams and forced overtime. Matt Martin tied the score at 1 at 5:27 into the third period, accepting a dish from PA Parenteau and snapping the puck low stick side by Craig Anderson.
“We’ve never been out of games,” Martin said. “We know we can come back in any game.”
The Islanders were 13 seconds away from taking a scoreless tie into the third period before the Senators took the lead. Zack Smith picked up a turnover, skated it down the right side and snapped a long, short-handed wrist shot passed Evgeni Nabokov. The goal could have been a deflating, but the Islanders regrouped for a strong third period.
“After the second period, we talked about it and it was a tough goal to give up,” Capuano said. “We didn’t get down after the second period. We came out in the third and played a pretty good hockey game.”
With the win, the Isles move to 12th place in the Eastern Conference and sit one game below .500. The Islanders have fared better in overtime and the shootouts of late, having won five of their last six games that go beyond 60 minutes.
Both goalies looked sharp in the low-scoring affair. Nabokov, who is 6-2 in his last eight games, stopped 23 shots while his counterpart, Anderson, turned aside 30 of 32.
The Islanders have a quick turnaround as they face a well-rested Buffalo Sabres squad Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum. The puck drops at 7 p.m.