PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Marc Bergevin almost couldn't remember when he last scored a goal. That was fitting, because the Pittsburgh Penguins almost couldn't remember the last time they didn't lose at home.
Bergevin ended a 101-game streak without a goal and the Penguins rallied from two goals down Tuesday night to halt their NHL-record 14-game home losing streak, tying the New York Islanders 3-3.
Bergevin, who hadn't scored since Nov. 23, 2002, did so when the puck
deflected to him in the high slot and he one-timed it past goalie
Garth Snow less than two minutes into the third period.
Pittsburgh's Tom Kostopoulos had scored short-handed late in the
second period to make it 3-2.
"It came right at me, and I didn't even know it went in," 38-year-old Bergevin said of his 36th goal in 1,181 NHL games. "But I saw the replay, and it was a laser beam."
The Islanders might not hear the end of this from coach Steve
Stirling for a while, either.
They lead Florida by eight points for the Eastern Conference's
final playoff spot but squandered a chance to increase the lead by
getting only two points (tie, plus OT loss) in the home-and-home series against the NHL's worst team. Before the series, Pittsburgh had won only once in 20 games.
"It pretty much feels like it was two losses," the Islanders'
Mark Parrish said. "It doesn't feel like we got any points out of
The Penguins are 2-1-1 since losing 18 in a row, though one of
the losses came into overtime and prevented them from setting
another NHL losing-streak record. They must win four times in their
final 16 games to avoid tying the team record for fewest victories
(16) in a season.
New York, beginning a stretch of seven of eight on the road, led
2-0 after Jason Blake scored his first goal in 14 games with just
over a minute gone and Cliff Ronning added his sixth goal less
than seven minutes later.
"We got up a couple of goals and let off the gas," Parrish
said. "They're a team that doesn't let up at all whether they're
down 3-1, 4-1, 5-1."
Blake was unhappy after being benched for the entire second
period on a night he and linemates Parrish and Dave Scatchard
combined for two goals and four points.
"I'm obviously mad because our line was going, was ready to
play ... and we were all hot," Blake said. "We talked about it
all day, that we had our line back together."
Stirling said he sat Blake down for committing a turnover late
in the first period.
"You know what? You make mistakes in this game," Blake said.
"It doesn't cost us anything. Our line was fired up and ready to
go, and that's just unbelievable [to be benched]. How many chances
did we have?"
The Penguins, still winless at home since beating the Blackhawks 1-0 on Dec. 29, got back in it late in the first period when Rico Fata poked the puck past Snow while being knocked off his skates in the slot. Matt Bradley collected Landon Wilson's pass from behind the net and steered it through traffic to Fata.
Parrish, who previously set up Blake's goal, made it 3-1 midway
through the second when he intercepted defenseman Josef Melichar's
no-look, backhand pass along the left wing boards and wristed a
shot past Chiodo. Chiodo made 31 saves and is 2-3-1 since being
recalled from the minors, easily the best record of any Pittsburgh
The momentum shifted when the Islanders not only squandered
a chance to make it a three-goal game during a four-minute power
play resulting from Fata's high-sticking penalty but allowed a
goal. Kostopoulos made a cross-ice pass to Mike Eastwood, whose
hard shot off the left post deflected back to Kostopoulos with most
of the net open.
Until this season, no NHL team had lost more than 11
straight at home. ... Pittsburgh D Ric Jackman sat out with an
undisclosed illness. ... The Islanders started Pittsburgh's home
losing streak by beating them 6-1 on New Year's Eve. ... New York
is 21-5-5 when scoring first. ... Only the Penguins (6) have fewer
road victories than the Islanders (9). ... Islanders C Michael Peca
returned after missing two games with a leg laceration. ... Snow,
who faced only 11 shots in the first two periods, and Rick DiPietro
have played 36 games apiece. Snow made 21 saves.