Final OT

Series (Game 6 of 6)

New York leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 25th
Penguins2Final
Islanders7
Game 2: Wednesday, October 29th
Islanders4Final
OT
Penguins4
Game 3: Wednesday, December 31st
Islanders6Final
Penguins1
Game 4: Wednesday, February 18th
Penguins3Final
Islanders4
Game 5: Sunday, February 29th
Penguins3Final
OT
Islanders2
Game 6: Tuesday, March 2nd
Islanders3Final
OT
Penguins3

Islanders 3

(30-23-3, 73 pts)

Penguins 3

(13-43-4, 36 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 2, 2004

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 OT T
NYI 2 1 0 03
PIT 1 1 1 03

M. Bergevin (Penguins - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Parrish (Islanders - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

T. Kostopoulos (Penguins - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Pittsburgh had lost 14 straight at home

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."

Rookie goalie Andy Chiodo, who stopped Shawn Bates on a breakaway midway through the third to ultimately preserve the tie, said, "I'm sure we won't hear the end of it [from Bergevin] for a while."

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 these games."

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 goalie.

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.

Game notes


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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNNewYork.com