The New York Islanders fell 4-3 in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the back end of a home and home at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday.
Mikhail Grabovski had a goal and three assists and Clarke MacArthur had a three point night (2g/1a) as the pair hooked up to sink the Islanders in overtime on a 2-on-1.
“It’s really unfortunate that we lost this hockey game,” PA Parenteau said. “We showed a lot of character coming back like that. It was a huge game, it’s tough to swallow.”
The Islanders were down by one with 13 seconds left in regulation before Parenteau salvaged the point for the Islanders. Parenteau blasted a slap-shot from the hashmarks after the puck took a wild bounce off the Coliseum glass.
“It was a real lucky bounce,” Parenteau said. “Kind of like their go-ahead goal, same type of thing. We’ll take it.”
The Islanders controlled the game in the beginning, as John Tavares scored his 20th goal less than two minutes into the game. The Isles extended their lead to 2-0 when Josh Bailey finished a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Matt Martin, but could not take the two-goal lead into the second intermission.
The Leafs found a way to get back in the game at the end of the second period. MacArthur put his team on the board at 18:55, tucking a Grabovski backhand pass inside the near post. Jake Gardiner then scored his first goal of the season early into the third period, giving the Leafs two goals in a 2:53 span.
Grabovski nearly put the Islanders away, when his shot deflected off of Milan Jurcina’s stick and the changeup floated over the shoulder of Al Montoya. The Isles netminder was in his first action since suffering a concussion on Dec. 20, making 17 saves and almost robbing MacArthur of the game-winner. After a video review, it was determined that Montoya pulled the puck back from over the line.
“I knew it went in,” Montoya said. “It was an odd game for me. I felt pretty good after a month off. It seemed like every goal that went in, there was a bounce on their side.”
Jonas Gustavsson earned his second victory in as many nights, stopping 29 of 32 to preserve the win.
The officiating was a point of contention after the game. Despite two tense, physical, chippy games, the Islanders were not issued single man advantage.
“To go two games without a penalty?” Bailey said. “I don’t care how disciplined a team is, there’s no way there is no penalties taken in two games. It’s baffling. It’s disheartening. We’re pretty (ticked) off about it.”
Tension was building between the two teams all game, even the superstars got involved in the rough stuff. Phil Kessel got into a shoving match with Travis Hamonic after a whistle and Tavares stood up Nazim Kadri, who attempted a big hit on the Islanders star.
The Islanders head into the All-Star Break on a two-game losing streak and retake the ice again on Jan. 31 against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh.