PITTSBURGH — Alexei Yashin isn’t a big fan of the NHL’s new shootout rule. A few more victories by the New York Islanders in extended shootouts and he might change his mind.

Yashin scored his 300th career goal before the Islanders squandered a two-goal lead in the third period against Pittsburgh, then started the NHL’s longest shootout to date as the first of a combined 18 shooters.

After failing to score, he waited. And waited. And waited some more until Jason Blake, admittedly fighting his confidence on breakaways, beat Jocelyn Thibault during the sixth sudden-death round to give the Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Penguins on Monday night.

Previously, the longest shootout lasted five sudden-death rounds, Columbus’ 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Oct. 28.

“Obviously, I didn’t think it would take that many shooters,” Blake said. “They played well in the third period and came back we were happy to hold on and get it to overtime and get the win.”

Afterward, as teammates congratulated Yashin for his milestone goal, he expressed sympathy for the Penguins losing the way they did. The Penguins have more overtime losses (six) than they do victories (five), with two losses in shootouts.

“It’s a special experience. It’s tough that the team that wins gets an extra point, but it’s the new rules and we’ll take it,” Yashin said.

Even if it extends an already long night of hockey?

“I can wait forever, as long as we win. It’s a great win, hopefully we’ll get some confidence and it will carry over from here,” Yashin said.

In other games, it was: Tampa Bay 5, Philadelphia 2; Calgary 3, Minnesota 2; and Edmonton 5, Colorado 2.

The Penguins, listless and uninterested until the third period, suddenly got going when Erik Christensen set up fellow rookie Sidney Crosby’s seventh goal about six minutes into the third. Christensen then scored his second career goal — with 1:18 remaining — to force overtime.

Crosby and Christensen also beat goalie Rick DiPietro during the during the first shootout wave of three shooters, with Christensen needing to score to get the Penguins into the sudden-death round. New York’s Trent Hunter and Shawn Bates also were successful in the shootout, after Bates scored his third goal in two games in regulation.

After that, Thibault stopped five consecutive shooters, only to watch as three teammates with more than 1,100 career goals among them — Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Ziggy Palffy — couldn’t beat DiPietro. Mario Lemieux, closing in on 700 goals, had been stopped earlier.

Finally, Blake got the puck past Thibault by faking a switch to his backhand before wristing the puck inside the near post. The shootout ended when rookie defenseman Ryan Whitney couldn’t score for Pittsburgh.

“The last two games, the problem was I missed four breakaways, so there was a little concern there with my confidence,” Blake said. “I mishandled the puck at the hash mark, but I got lucky and he tried to pokecheck me and he missed it. I got lucky — that’s all I can say.”

Coach Steve Stirling didn’t think so.

“You know who was really helpful was Bates,” Stirling said. “He’s good on this. Obviously, he scored, and he carefully watches the other guys. He gave me a couple of suggestions.”

And here’s a suggestion for the Penguins: Try not to take so many games into overtime, where they are 2-6.

“We don’t play good hockey until we get behind for whatever reason,” Recchi said. “If we’d played like that early in games, we wouldn’t get into trouble.”

The Penguins wasted not only Christensen’s excellent performance in only his eight career game but Thibault’s solid night as he stopped 35 of 37 shots. DiPietro turned aside 26 of 28 shots.

Lightning 5, Flyers 2

At Tampa, Fla., Vinny Prospal had three goals and an assist to help the Lightning snap a six-game losing streak. Prospal has eight goals and 18 points during a 10-game point streak.

Martin Cibak extended the Lightning’s lead to 4-2 on a breakaway with 7:55 to play. Prospal completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 37.3 seconds left.

Peter Forsberg scored twice for the Flyers, who had won six straight.

Flames 3, Wild 2

At Calgary, Alberta, Jarome Iginla scored a power-play goal with 1:07 left to give the Flames their seventh straight victory.

Iginla also set up third-period goals by Dion Phaneuf and Daymond Langkow as the Flames battled back from a 2-0 deficit to improve to 11-7-2.

Mikko Koivu and Randy Robitaille scored for the Wild, who lost their third straight to drop to 8-9-2.

Oilers 5, Avalanche 2

At Denver, Chris Pronger scored his first goal for Edmonton to help goalie Mike Morrison win his first career start.

Pronger broke through against David Aebischer after taking a pass from Ales Hemsky at the top of the circle just as a five-on-three power play was ending at 14:13 of the second period to make it 3-2.

Ryan Smyth and Ethan Moreau gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead before Rob Blake and Ian Laperriere scored to tie it 2-2.

Raffi Torres and Marty Reasoner capped the scoring for the Oilers.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.