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Hunter, Aucoin pull Islanders even

BOSTON (AP) -- The New York Islanders celebrated like winners,
while the Boston Bruins were left to wonder how they let a valuable
point in the standings slip away.

Trent Hunter and Adrian Aucoin scored four minutes apart midway
through the third period, helping the Islanders tie the Bruins 3-3
on Saturday night.

With Boston looking as if it was in control and en route to its
second straight home win, the Islanders struck for a pair of goals.

"That was a good point," New York coach Steve Stirling said.

The Bruins' Patrice Bergeron scored a power-play goal late in
the second period, and Sandy McCarthy made it 3-1 early in the
third, before Hunter and Aucoin scored.

"The boys battled tonight. We were down 3-1 and could have
eventually quit," Hunter said. "We weren't going to give up. It's
definitely great to get a point out of it."

Boston, which has struggled at home most of the season was
hoping to build on a 3-2 win over Toronto at the FleetCenter on
Thursday night

"It's disappointing because when you're up 3-1 at home after
two periods you feel like you should get two points," Boston
defenseman Sean O'Donnell said. "The minute you let up the other
team smells blood and they come after you. That's what they did
tonight."

New York is 6-1-1 in its last seven games, while Boston dropped
to 1-5-5 in its last 11 home games.

"Anytime you have a two-goal lead you're disappointed," Boston
coach Mike Sullivan said.

The Islanders started their rally when Hunter scored out of
scramble in front with just over 12 minutes left.

Aucoin's wrist shot from the slot slipped off goalie Felix
Potvin's glove and into the net, tying the game with 8:10 left in
regulation.

"I think it might have kind of knuckled on him," Aucoin said.

Potvin admitted the shot fooled him.

"I really don't know what happened," he said. "It just
dipped. It was going in my glove and it dipped at the last
second."

Sergei Samsonov also scored for Boston. Mariusz Czerkawski had
the Islanders' first goal.

McCarthy's goal gave Boston a 3-1 lead 2:40 into the third
period. He beat goalie Garth Snow with a slap shot from the right
circle, but New York cut it to one on Hunter's goal with 12:10 to
play.

Boston moved ahead 2-1 when Mike Knuble, who had a pair of
assists, tipped a soft pass to Bergeron. The 18-year-old rookie
shifted before beating Snow with a wrist shot for his 10th goal.

Boston opened the scoring on Samsonov's goal 32 seconds into the
game. New York tied it midway through the first period, with
Czerkawski finishing off a two-on-one break by slipping a shot
between Potvin's pads.

The Islanders had won six straight prior to a 1-0 loss in Ottawa
on Thursday night. That streak came shortly after losing a
season-high seven in a row.

"I think we learned a lot after our long stretch of losing that
there's always a chance," Aucoin said.

Game notes
Islanders center Justin Papineau limped off the ice early
in the first period after a check by Boston LW Doug Doull, but he
returned in the second. ... New York has been outscored in the
third period only three times in its last 18 games. ... Wives of
Bruins' players will hold their annual charity carnival Sunday at
the FleetCenter to benefit the Star House, an organization
providing homes for children five through 12.