The Pittsburgh Penguins spoiled the New York Islanders’ first home playoff game in six years, winning 5-4 on Chris Kunitz’s overtime goal to avoid a second straight loss in their National Hockey League playoff series.
The Minnesota Wild sent the Chicago Blackhawks to their first loss of the postseason, winning 3-2 in overtime, while the Ottawa Senators routed the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 yesterday and the San Jose Sharks topped the Vancouver Canucks 5-2.
The Penguins, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, bounced back from a 4-3 home loss against the Islanders in Game 2 in which they blew a 3-1 lead. Kunitz scored a pair of goals yesterday, including the winner on a power play eight minutes, 44 seconds into overtime.
“In a game that had too many bad plays by us to be able to let them come back and get them in front, we did a good job of getting one in overtime,” Kunitz told reporters.
Kunitz, Jarome Iginla, Pascal Dupuis and Douglas Murray scored to give the Penguins a 4-2 lead yesterday in Uniondale, New York, before third-period goals by the Islanders’ Kyle Okposo and John Tavares tied the score.
The best-of-seven first-round series continues at the same venue tomorrow.
Also in the East, the Senators got three goals from Jean-Gabriel Pageau to rout the Canadiens in a game that featured a combined 236 penalty minutes between the two teams.
Ottawa, which scored four third-period goals, now has a 2-1 lead in the series and hosts Game 4 tomorrow.
The Wild avoided a 3-0 deficit against the Blackhawks, the top seed in the Western Conference, as rookie Jason Zucker scored the tie-breaking goal 2:15 into overtime.
Two of the first three games in the series have gone to overtime and Minnesota will host Game 4 tomorrow.
The Sharks went ahead 3-0 in their series against the Canucks as Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice. San Jose can close out the series with a home win tomorrow.
There are four NHL playoff games scheduled for tonight, including the New York Rangers hosting the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their first-round series and trailing 2-0.
The Toronto Maple Leafs host the Boston Bruins with their Eastern Conference series tied at one game apiece. In the West, the Anaheim Ducks visit the Detroit Red Wings and the Los Angeles Kings host the St. Louis Blues. The Ducks and Blues both hold 2-1 series leads.