Josh Bailey scored 4:39 into overtime Wednesday night as the New York Islanders edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. Bailey put back the rebound of a shot by Mathew Barzal for the Islanders, who have home-ice advantage in the playoffs for the first time since 1988 and are playing home games at the Coliseum for the first time since 2015.
New York spent the subsequent three seasons at Brooklyn's Barclays Center before splitting its home schedule between the arenas this year. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday night at the Coliseum. Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson scored in the first for the Islanders and Nick Leddy scored in the third. Goalie Robin Lehner recorded 41 saves.
Phil Kessel scored in the first period for the Penguins and Evgeni Malkin scored in the second before Justin Schultz forced overtime by scoring with 1:29 remaining. Pittsburgh is making its NHL-best 13th consecutive playoff appearance. Goalie Matt Murray made 29 saves. The revved-up sellout crowd of 13,917 erupted just 33 seconds in, when Islanders right winger Tom Kuhnhackl, fresh from jumping off the bench, appeared to score. But the goal was waved off due to New York being offsides.
It took the Islanders just 67 more seconds to score for real. Anders Lee's pass into the crease bounced off the skates and stick of Eberle, who managed to corral the puck, turn and fire a shot under Murray's legs. The Penguins tied the game a little more than four minutes later when Kessel took a pass from Dominik Simon and shuffled the puck between the faceoff circles before firing a shot under Lehner's Gove at the 5:42 mark.
Eberle helped set up the go-ahead power-play goal late in the period. The centre controlled the puck at the left faceoff circle and motioned as if he would shoot before passing to Nelson, who was stationed in front of Murray. With Murray stuck leaning to his left to try and stop a shot by Eberle, Nelson went to one knee and poked a shot past the goalie with 4:14 remaining. The Penguins tied the score with their own power play goal late in the second. Malkin shuffled the puck for several seconds before firing a shot that glanced off the stick of Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech and fluttered over Lehner's shoulder with 6:19 remaining.
Leddy scored on a slap shot with 7:25 remaining in the game but Schultz tied the score with 1:29 to play, just seconds after the Penguins pulled Murray. Kuhnhackl had a potential game-winning goal waved off just 1:12 into overtime, when officials determined upon review that he collided with Murray and knocked the goal off its moorings before the puck crossed the red line.
(With inputs from agencies.)