Isles again top Caps in OT

April 23, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders absolutely refused to disappoint the 14,180 fans who shook Nassau Coliseum last night.

With the crowd waving signs, snapping clackers and stomping feet, the Islanders overcame a two-goal, third-period deficit and won Game 3 of the NHL Patrick Division semifinal series, 4-3, on Ray Ferraro's goal 4:46 into overtime. The win gives the Islanders a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is here tomorrow night.

"We were pretty fortunate to dodge the bullets we dodged and battle back for this victory," said Ferraro. "We just seem to be team that finds a way to win. We said we were going to go all-out and play the same way in overtime that we'd done in the final few minutes to get us there."

It was the Islanders' second straight overtime win. The Islanders, who are 27-7 in playoff overtime games, won Game 2, 5-4, in double overtime Tuesday when Ferraro jarred the puck loose from Capitals goalie Rick Tabaracci, enabling Brian Mullen to score the winninggoal.

New York began its comeback with 8:49 left, when Tabaracci was unable to reach the rebound after stopping a shot by Darius Kasparaitis. Steve Thomas, who scored the Islanders' first goal, scored on the follow-up.

Then, with 42.7 seconds left, Thomas beat Calle Johansson down the right side and fed Pierre Turgeon in front of the Washington goal. Tabaracci had little chance.

"We did everything we wanted to do in this game until the final moments of regulation," said Capitals coach Terry Murray.

This is the 15th time this season that Washington has blown a lead of two goals or better, but the first since March 11 in Philadelphia.

"We just have to recharge and handle this," Murray said. "We want to come out of here with a split."

"You could just feel it in the locker room that we were going to come out charged up [in overtime]," Islanders goaltender Glenn Healy said. "The guys wanted to see if they could put it away early."

It was a sad ending for the Capitals, who had taken a 3-1 lead with 13:45 to play thanks to the fine work of Bob Carpenter (one BTC goal, one assist) and Pat Elynuik, who scored on a beautiful 2-on-1 breakaway set up by Mike Ridley.

The Caps looked in charge.

"We were trying to cover our lead," Cote said of Washington's defensive stance in the final minutes of regulation. "They had nothing to lose, and they were really going at it."

"It's frustrating to outplay them like this in both games and have two losses," said Al Iafrate, who had five strong shots without getting one past Healy. "We didn't put our chances away in overtime when we had them. But for the most part we outplayed them."

But when it really counted, Murray said, his team was missing in action.

"We wound up beating ourselves," said Murray. "We turned the puck over, made poor decisions and we got some guys who've got some feather-dusters and we don't pay the price to play the body physically. You have to take the man out."

Murray, however, didn't criticize the play of Tabaracci, who made 26 saves in the losing effort, even though he gave up the first goal while trapped in the right corner, setting up an open-net goal by Thomas for a 1-0 lead at 16:37.

"Rick's decision [to leave the net] was made under the intensity of the game and I'm not going to second-guess it," Murray said. "I thought he played very well."

Randy Burridge tied the game at 1 with 1:05 left in the first, when he scored his first goal since Feb. 29, 1992, and his first since returning from double knee surgery April 10.

NOTES: The Islanders lost two players to injury. D Rich Pilon had to go to the hospital after he was hit in the neck with a puck and had difficulty swallowing. F Patrick Flatley was hurt in the first period when he took the butt of Dale Hunter's stick in his left eye and suffered a bruised cornea.

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