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Nelson’s goal in overtime lifts the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Penguins

PITTSBURGH — Brock Nelson can’t explain why the New York Islanders fell behind the last three times they played the Pittsburgh Penguins, only to come back late to win against their division rival.

Nelson capped the latest rally, scoring on a breakaway in overtime to lead the Islanders to a 4-3 victory on Thursday night.

“I don’t know what the reason for that is, but we’ve found ourselves in that situation a number of times,” Nelson said, “and we’ve been able to come away with wins.”

Nelson passed Tristan Jarry on the blockers’ side at 2:13 of the overtime as the Islanders, trailing 3-1 at the end of the third, swept the season series against the Penguins for the first time in league history. franchise. New York also posted its first record for road wins at Pittsburgh since the 2014-15 season.

Nelson scored five goals and had nine points in four games against Pittsburgh this season.

Anders Lee scored twice and Hudson Fasching also scored for the Islanders, who scored twice in the final 5:29 of regulation to force overtime. Ilya Sorokin stopped 33 shots and assisted on the game-winning goal for New York, which is two points ahead of Pittsburgh for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders, who won their eighth game when trailing two quarters, have outscored opponents 17-1 in the third quarter in their last 10 games.

“It sounds easy, but it’s a close game,” Nelson said. “You have to stick with it. In the third, I thought we did a better job of that.”

Jake Guentzel, Jason Zucker and Josh Archibald scored for Pittsburgh. Jarry had 24 saves for the Penguins, who have lost two of three following a four-game winning streak. Pittsburgh has lost 10 of its last 11 against division opponents.

“It’s hard to swallow,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I feel bad for the players because I felt like most of the night we were the better team. We had some momentary lapses and they came back into the game.”

The Islanders crushed Pittsburgh 5-1 at home on Dec. 27 before a pair of come-from-behind regulation victories against the Penguins last month mirrored Thursday’s rally. Pittsburgh led twice but lost in regulation both times last month.

Fasching kicked off the Islanders’ latest comeback against Pittsburgh with his second goal in as many games. He made it a 3-2 game at 14:31 of the third on a Casey Cizikas feed.

Lee tied it at 3 with 1:15 left in regulation. It was his 26th goal of the season and his seventh in four games against Pittsburgh. Lee redirected Noah Dobson’s point shot between Jarry’s legs from the top of the crease.

“It’s a great win for character to be able to go out there and do that in the third quarter,” Islanders coach Lane Lambert said.

Evgeni Malkin took an interference penalty at 4:44 of the first period, setting the franchise record for career penalty minutes with 1,050, passing Kevin Stevens.

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Lee and the Islanders took advantage with a power-play goal at 5:23.

Guentzel tied it at 11:07 when he redirected Marcus Pettersson’s point shot behind Sorokin for his 26th goal. The assist was Pettersson’s 100th NHL point. He became the 37th member of the 2014 NHL draft class to reach 100 points and the sixth defenseman.

Zucker gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead at 6:24 p.m. Archibald made it 3-1 at 10:49 of the second.

But the Islanders rallied in the third quarter for another victory against Pittsburgh.

“You’re going to have nights where you’re a little out of sorts,” Lambert said. “The key to a good hockey team is finding a way to win a game like that, and we did.”

Islanders: Host Washington on Saturday before a three-game trip to the West Coast.

Penguins: They continue a five-game season homestand on Saturday against Philadelphia.

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