UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Brooks Orpik scored 7:49 into overtime, and the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame three one-goal deficits in Game 6 of their NHL playoff series to eliminate the New York Islanders with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.
Orpik, a defenseman, took a shot from the left point that found its way through traffic and got past goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Orpik had never scored in 77 previous playoff games and didn’t have one in the past 106 contests of any kind since he last scored against the Islanders on Nov. 21, 2011.
He has 12 career goals in the NHL. Evgeni Malkin moved the puck from behind the net to Tyler Kennedy, who fed it to Orpik for the winning shot.
“I’m definitely not a goal-scorer, but he laid it right on a tee for me,” Orpik said. “I wish I can say I was trying to go there, but I was just trying to put it on net, and found a hole.”
The Penguins advanced to face the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the playoffs despite being outshot 38-21 in the decisive win.
The Islanders were just 5:16 away from sending the series back to Pittsburgh for one more game when another defenseman, Paul Martin, got the Penguins even for the third time.
“It’s great to finish it, I tell you that,” goalie Tomas Vokoun said. “We got everything we could have handled. They played great and it was a tough series.”
Evgeni Malkin assisted on the tying and winning goals. On Martin’s goal, Malkin curled behind the New York net with the puck and sent a hard pass high in the zone to Martin, who ripped a drive through traffic in front.
Former Spokane Chief Michael Grabner gave the Islanders a 3-2 edge 2:21 into the third with a goal.