(Corrects goal-scorer in third paragraph.
John Tavares broke a third-period tie as the New York Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 to even their National Hockey League series at two games apiece, while the San Jose Sharks completed a four-game sweep of the Vancouver Canucks.
The Islanders won their first playoff game on home ice since 2002, having tied an NHL record by losing seven straight postseason games at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Patrick Marleau scored 13 minutes, 18 seconds into overtime as the Sharks wrapped up their best-of-seven first-round series with a 4-3 overtime victory at home.
In other games last night, the Ottawa Senators took a 3-1 series lead with a 3-2 overtime win at home against the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks have a 3-1 advantage after their 3-0 victory at the Minnesota Wild.
Tonight, the New York Rangers try to even their series against the visiting Washington Capitals at two games each; the Toronto Maple Leafs are home against the Boston Bruins, who have a 2-1 series lead; the Los Angeles Kings travel to the St. Louis Blues with that series tied at 2-2, and the Detroit Red Wings visit the Anaheim Ducks in a series also tied 2-2.
Brian Strait gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 14 minutes, five seconds of the first period, which James Neal tied at 1-1 45 seconds later.
New York’s Mark Streit added a second-period power-play goal, which was countered 58 seconds later by Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin. Brandon Sutter put the Penguins up by one before Kyle Okposo again tied the game at 3-3.
After Pascal Dupuis gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead in the opening minute of the third period, Mark Streit, Tavares and Casey Cizikas had goals for the Islanders.
Game 5 in the series is set for tomorrow in Pittsburgh.
The Sharks took a 2-1 first period lead on goals by Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski. Mason Raymond scored for the Canucks, who claimed the lead in the final period on goals by Alex Burrows and Alexander Edler before Pavelski scored his second goal to throw the game into overtime at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
At Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Kyle Turris scored a goal two minutes, 32 seconds into overtime to earn a win for the Senators. P.K. Subban and Alex Galchenyuk scored within 62 seconds of each other to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in the second period, while Mika Zibanejad and Cory Conacher tied the game in the final period for Ottawa, who travel to the Canadiens tomorrow for Game 5.
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