NHL: Islanders spoil Crosby's return to even series

2013-05-04T00:00:00Z NHL: Islanders spoil Crosby's return to even seriesThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby did what he always seems to do in big moments, scoring two quick goals in his return from a broken jaw.

He gave the Pittsburgh Penguins an early two-goal lead over the New York Islanders on Friday night. Then the Islanders responded, doing something they hadn't managed in six years: win a playoff game.

Kyle Okposo provided his teammates some inspiration with a well-timed fight in the second period, and he capped a compelling New York rally with winning goal with 7:37 to play. The Islanders' 4-3 win evened the playoff series at one game each.

Game 3 is Sunday at New York. And instead of heading to Nassau Coliseum in danger of being swept, the Islanders have the momentum after a resilient 60 minutes.

"Our guys, they're relentless," New York coach Jack Capuano said.

The Islanders needed to be after Crosby - wearing a plastic shield to protect the jaw he broke on March 30 - found the back of the net twice in the first 7:37.

But in the third period. Okposo fired a shot wide of the net that caromed back to the crease, then rolled off Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and across the goal line to give New York its first playoff win since April 14, 2007 against Buffalo.

"It's the playoffs; you lose games sometimes," said Crosby, who was cleared by doctors late Thursday to play. "But I think we've got to make sure we learn from this one pretty quickly."

• Blackhawks 5, Wild 2: In Chicago, Patrick Sharp and Michael Frolik had two goals apiece, and the Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead over the Wild.

Patrick Kane added two assists as Chicago put together a strong start and impressive finish. Bryan Bickell added an empty-net score to his winning goal in the Blackhawks' 2-1 overtime victory on Tuesday night.

Game 3 is Sunday afternoon in Minnesota.

• Canadiens 3, Senators 1: In Montreal, Ryan White started a three-goal second period and goalie Carey Price was back in top form with 29 saves as the Canadiens evened their playoff series.

The best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal is tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Sunday in Ottawa.

Brendan Gallagher and Michael Ryder also scored for Montreal. Milan Michalek scored for Ottawa, which was let down by a power play that went 0-for-4.

• Sharks 3, Canucks 2, OT: In Vancouver, British Columbia, Raffi Torres scored at 5:31 of overtime to give San Jose the win in Game 2. The Sharks took a 2-0 lead in the series, which shifts to San Jose for games Sunday and Tuesday. San Jose was 17-2-5 at home this season.

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau also scored for the Sharks.

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