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Grabner leads Islanders past Avalanche in OT
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Grabner scored 1:46 into overtime to give the surging New York Islanders their sixth consecutive road win, a 2-1 come-from-behind triumph over the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.
The Islanders trailed 1-0 before Brock Nelson tallied 4:28 into the third period, then completed the rally when Grabner landed a wrister over the glove of Semyon Varlamov moments after being stopped on a partial breakaway.
Kevin Poulin contributed to New York's sixth victory in seven games overall by turning aside 30-of-31 shots.
Varlamov finished with 22 saves and Nathan MacKinnon potted the lone goal for Colorado, which had won four of five coming in.
"I thought we played a good solid game tonight and deserved two points, not one," said MacKinnon afterward.
MacKinnon's 15th goal of the season, in which the rookie sensation outraced the defense before beating Poulin glove-side with a wicked forehand 1:45 prior to the second intermission, put the Islanders behind entering the third period.
"The puck was just getting dumped into center ice," said MacKinnon of the play. "Andre [Benoit] made a great pass. I got a little bit of a head start and got a clean shot on goal."
New York was able to answer, however, thanks to some strong work from two of its youngsters not long afterward.
Calvin de Haan pinched into the Colorado zone and deposited a well-placed centering pass that fellow rookie Nelson put home to knot the score at 1-1 less than 4 1/2 minutes into the final stage of regulation.
Both goaltenders kept it deadlocked with sharp performances over the remainder of the third period before Grabner came through with the decider on an outstanding individual efforts.
The speedy forward raced down the left side to corral a puck sent off the boards by Brian Strait and skated in close on Varmalov, who withstood the initial chance. Grabner quickly pounced on the loose disc, however, and worked to get a good look before ripping a well-placed shot that found its way through traffic in front.
"I just got on the ice," said Grabner. "Got the puck off the glass and won the race to get open in the slot. First one I tried to go backhand, got it the second time [and] shot it high glove-side and it went in."
Colorado controlled most of the action over the first two periods, but Poulin kept the Isles within striking distance by coming up with nine saves in the first and 13 more in the second.
The Islanders have won six straight on the road for the first time since Oct. 5-26, 2001 ... MacKinnon's 15 goals are tied with San Jose's Tomas Hertl for tops among NHL rookies this season ... New York's Thomas Vanek had a career- high 10-game point streak halted, while Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog had an eight-game streak end ... Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly missed a second straight game with a bruised shoulder, while defenseman Nate Guenin sat out for third consecutive time with an ankle injury ... New York moved to 8-0-3 in its last 11 meetings with the Avs.
01/11 00:10:59 ET
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