Sidney Crosby's return spoiled by New York Islanders

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New York's Kyle Okposo celebrates his third-period goal against Pittsburgh keeper Marc-Andre Fleury with Matt Moulson (right) and Frans Nielsen. The Islanders won 4-3 to even the series.  GENE J. PUSKAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS
GENE J. PUSKAR/ASSOCIATED PRESS
New York's Kyle Okposo celebrates his third-period goal against Pittsburgh keeper Marc-Andre Fleury with Matt Moulson (right) and Frans Nielsen. The Islanders won 4-3 to even the series.

PITTSBURGH — Kyle Okposo’s first career playoff goal with 7:37 remaining lifted the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night, evening their playoffs series at one game each.

Matt Moulson, Colin McDonald and Matt Martin also scored for the Islanders, who spoiled Sidney Crosby’s comeback from a broken jaw by rallying from an early two-goal deficit.

Crosby scored twice in the game’s first eight minutes as the Penguins raced to a quick 3-1 lead. But they couldn’t hold it as the Islanders bounced back from a lifeless performance in Game 1.

Evgeni Nabokov overcame a sluggish start to stop 30 shots as the Islanders won their first playoff game in more than six years.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 38 saves for Pittsburgh, which allowed the speedy Islanders to effectively counterpunch all night.

Game 3 is Sunday in New York.

It wasn’t exactly the triumphant return the Penguins expected after doctors cleared Crosby to play after missing more than a month. Pittsburgh crushed the Islanders 5-0 in the opener Wednesday, and Crosby’s addition to the lineup figured to make the task for the eighth-seeded Islanders more daunting.

Instead, it only seemed to fire up New York.

Though the Penguins raced to a quick lead behind Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the young Islanders kept attacking. The result was the franchise’s first playoff victory since April 14, 2007.

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.

There was anticipation of rough play after Eric Gryba’s hit that saw Montreal’s Lars Eller carried off the Bell Centre ice on a stretcher with a concussion and some missing teeth in Ottawa’s 4-2 win in the series opener on Thursday night.

Gryba drew a two-game suspension from the NHL and sat out Game 2.

WILD: Were without goalie Niklas Backstrom and defenseman Clayton Stoner for Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Backstrom was scratched from Game 1 with a leg injury after he hurt himself while he warmed up for the playoff opener.


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