Final OT

Series (Game 2 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 4

(4-3-0, 10 pts)

Penguins 4

(1-4-0, 5 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 29, 2003

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 OT T
NYI 2 0 2 04
PIT 1 2 1 04

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

K. Koltsov (Penguins - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

M. Lemieux (Penguins - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Islanders pull off tie with two quick goals

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Just like always, it was Mario Lemieux who got the rebuilding Pittsburgh Penguins going -- this time, with his history-making 1,700th point. As usual, it was the other team that had the big finish.

Lemieux became the sixth player in NHL history with 1,700 points with an assist that started a four-goal run by Pittsburgh, but the New York Islanders scored twice in the third period for a 4-4 tie Wednesday night.

"I thought we were going to win the way we played the first two periods," said Lemieux, who scored in his seventh straight game. "It's disappointing."

Not necessarily to the Islanders, who are 9-1-1-3 in their last 14 games against Pittsburgh.

"It's bad the way we played in (Pittsburgh's two-goal) second period," Islanders goalie Garth Snow said. "But in the hole two goals in the third period and to come back and salvage a point, it's good."

With the Islanders up 2-0 late in the first, Lemieux took Konstantin Koltsov's pass along the right wing boards, slipped the puck between the legs of defenseman Janne Niinimaa, then made a backhanded pass to the slot to Dick Tarnstrom for his second goal of the season.

"It's nice to get it out of the way," Lemieux said. "Sometimes when you're going for a milestone, you try to do too much."

Lemieux joins Wayne Gretzky (2,857), Gordie Howe (1,850), Mark Messier (1,847), Marcel Dionne (1,771) and Carolina Hurricanes captain Ron Francis (1,760s) on the 1,700-point list. Only Gretzky reached the mark faster than Lemieux.

Lemieux's exceptional play not only halted what was threatening to become another Islanders' rout of Pittsburgh, it was the first of the Penguins' four straight goals -- a veritable flurry for a team that scored only four goals in its previous three games. The Penguins lost to the Islanders 7-2 Saturday night and are winless in four games (0-2-2).

Martin Straka, rookie Ryan Malone and Mike Eastwood also scored as the Penguins rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 4-2 lead. Malone's first career goal came off Eastwood's faceoff win and put Pittsburgh up 3-2 with the teams skating four-on-four late in the second.

Eastwood made it 4-2 early in the third after Marc Bergevin chipped the puck up ice to him and his shot deflected off Snow's glove and trickled across the goal line.

But the Islanders, coming off a 4-0 loss at home Tuesday to New Jersey, scored twice in a span of 2:48 to tie it as Jason Blake got his third of the season and Mariusz Czerkawski evened it with his eighth.

Oleg Kvasha corralled his own rebound in the left corner and fed it to Czerkawski at the right of the net for his third goal in three games, at 11:13 of the third.

"When we were down two, we felt we had the better team and we had to show it," Czerkawski said.

The four goals were the most against No. 1 draft pick Marc-Andre Fleury, who began the game with the league's third-best save percentage (.947). Fleury turned aside 35 of 39 shots and has faced at least 34 shots in each of the five games he's started.

Shawn Bates scored short-handed at 8:03 of the first to give the Islanders the lead -- the third time in Fleury's five games that the initial goal against him was short-handed. The Penguins have allowed a league-high five short-handed goals in eight games; 13 NHL teams began the night without a short-handed goal against them.

"It's the same thing, a bad decision at the blue line and turning the puck over," Lemieux said. "We're not making the right decisions."

The Penguins also went 0-for-8 on the power play.

Alexei Yashin made it 2-0 with his third goal, tipping in Kvasha's shot from the right point.

Lemieux, the Penguins' owner-player, has 683 goals and 1,017 assists in an injury- and retirement-interrupted career that began 19 years ago. He got his 1,700th point in his 887th game; Gretzky got his in his 711th game.

Lemieux has one goal and seven assists in eight games this season. He needs 17 goals to become the seventh in NHL history with 700, a club that includes Gretzky, Howe, Dionne, Brett Hull, Phil Esposito and Mike Gartner. Only Gretzky, Howe and Dionne have 1,700 points and 700 goals.

Game notes


Pittsburgh is 5-for-42 on the power play. ... The Islanders are 4-2-2 in their last eight games. ... Lemieux has 128 points in 70 career games against the Islanders. ... Pittsburgh (1-4-3) has scored as many as four goals only twice.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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