Lindholm’s hat trick propels Ducks to OT win
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Seventy-five seconds. That’s all that separated the Anaheim Ducks from a third consecutive regulation loss and a third blown two-goal lead in what was becoming a hellish six-game road trip.
But the message on the bench late in the third period Thursday night at the Barclays Center was “enough is enough.”
Right wing Rickard Rakell scored the tying goal late in the third period and defenseman Hampus Lindholm netted the winner to complete his first career hat trick and lift the Ducks to a 5-4 overtime victory over the New York Islanders.
“We kicked ourselves a few times with this (situation) this year and they made a decision themselves that enough was enough,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We mixed up the lines a bit, put pressure on them and then we really didn’t change. We just kept putting pucks and bodies to the net. With the goalie out, we found a way to bang one across the line.”
Rakell’s equalizer came with Anaheim goaltender Ryan Miller (22 saves) pulled for the extra skater. Rakell jumped on a juicy rebound of a shot by defenseman Brandon Montour for his ninth goal of the season and first since Nov. 20.
“We had a lot of guys in front and they had a lot of guys in front so I just tried to be somewhere where no one else was,” Rakell said. “It was nice to finally see that puck finding my stick.”
The Ducks (15-13-8) possessed the puck in overtime and took advantage of the long change to catch the Islanders with tired legs on Lindholm’s winning goal, a wrist shot from the faceoff dot with 57 seconds remaining in OT. Captain Ryan Getzlaf picked up the assist, his fourth of the game.
“We were more careful with the puck. We tried to tire them out,” Lindholm said. “When we saw they were tired, don’t let them change. When I got out there I was fresh and you can tell they were more tired than I was. That shot is not there if their guys aren’t a little tired.”
The Ducks crashed the net, something Carlyle said they lacked in a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers. It allowed Anaheim to jump out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first period when Lindholm and right winger Ondrej Kase struck in a span of 1:45.
The Islanders (18-13-4) cut their deficit in half at 5:39 of the second period on rookie forward Mathew Barzal’s ninth of the season on a two-man advantage before Lindholm scored his second on a slap shot from the high slot to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead at 12:36 of the second period.
From there, the Islanders turned up pressure, with captain John Tavares scoring twice to tie the score and winger Andrew Ladd giving New York its first lead at 4-3 at 7:52 of the third period.
“It’s not the way we want to start games but saying that, we battled back to get the lead and had a hold of the game with a minute and a half left,” Ladd said. “We’ve got to find ways to seal the deal there.”
For Tavares, the focus was more on the collective defensive breakdowns than how his team rallied in the final two periods.
“Giving up five goals is just too many,” Tavares said. “We’ve got to find a way to be better defensively, starting with myself on for three against. We’re scoring enough goals. We just have to tighten up and limit their opportunities.”
While the Islanders rued a chance to get a needed regulation win, Lindholm cherished what he thinks could be a “turning point” win for the Ducks.
“This road trip has kind of been a bad spiral going the wrong way here,” Lindholm said. “But we dug deep here and now we just have to roll with this and keep going forward.”
NOTES: Islanders LW Shane Prince made his season debut after ankle surgery in August. Also back after missing five games because of an upper-body injury was D Thomas Hickey. ... The Ducks scratched D Korbinian Holzer, C Dennis Rasmussen and D Andy Welinski. Scratched for the Islanders were LW Anthony Beauvillier, C Alan Quine and D Dennis Seidenberg. ... The Ducks close out a six-game road trip Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Islanders host the Jets in a Saturday matinee, the fourth of five consecutive games at Barclays Center.