Islanders vs. Penguins Game 3: Chris Kunitz scores in overtime to give Pittsburgh 2-1 series lead


Each team blew a two-goal lead, and Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a 2-1 series lead with his power play goal in overtime.

Chris Kunitz's overtime goal in Game 3 gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-4 win and a 2-1 series lead in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal with the New York Islanders.

Sidney Crosby drew a controversial penalty in overtime, and on the ensuing power play Kunitz finished a good passing play through Crosby to get the winner 8:44 into the extra frame:


It was Kunitz's second power play goal of the game, and Crosby's third assist.

More: Isles coverage at Lighthouse Hockey Penguins coverage at PensBurgh

Even before the tension of sudden-death overtime, the game delivered so much that fans love about NHL playoff hockey.

A thunderous Nassau Coliseum crowd welcomed the Islanders to their first home playoff game since 2007. The Islanders used that boost to build an early two-goal lead. The experienced Penguins calmly withstood the pressure, erased that lead and took one of their own by the end of the first period, with Crosby keying the go-ahead goal.

And just when it looked like the top-seed Penguins had a comfortable two-goal lead entering the third period, the Islanders managed a comeback of their own. Kyle Okposo scored on a shorthanded breakaway, then Islanders star John Tavares whipped a wrist shot to tie it and bring the Coliseum crowd to its feet.

Here is Okposo's breakaway goal:


Also befitting a close playoff battle, the game featured lots of hitting and lots of liberties. Among those liberties was this exchange between noted agitators Matt Cooke and Matt Carkner:


That's Carkner on the bench, acting innocent in the exchange. But it's a good bet it was no accident that his stick was awaiting Cooke as Cooke was crunched into the baords.

The Penguins were heavily favored going into this series, but the Islanders have surprised them with two well-played games in Game 2 and Game 3, outshooting them 34-19 in the first three periods of Game 3.

Whatever happens next, as NBC commentators noted, this has become more interesting than your usual first-versus-eighth series. Game 4 is Tuesday in New York.

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