NEW YORK — Islanders coach Jack Capuano thought Josh Bailey could give New York a spark, and Bailey delivered for the team’s first win of the season.
Bailey scored 54 seconds into overtime to give the Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in their home opener Sunday night.
Capuano bumped Bailey to the top line with captain John Tavares and Andrew Ladd during regulation. In the 3-on-3 extra period, Bailey skated with Nick Leddy and Cal Clutterbuck.
Capuano was pleased with his changes.
“(It was) something that we wanted to try going into tonight’s game and I thought they played well,” he said. “It was one of the better camps that (Bailey’s) had. … If he plays with confidence as I told him, and his work ethic that he has, he’s a skilled player and he has the ability to play on that line.”
Tavares and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders, who recovered after giving up a two-goal lead in the third period to get the win after opening with two losses.
“The first win is always big,” Tavares said. “Eases that pressure especially way those first two games went. … A big win is always a good feeling.”
Jason Chimera, who was moved down to the second line with Nelson and Anders Lee, had an assist on Nelson’s score for his first point since signing with New York in the offseason.
“He has the ability for me to put him where you want to play him because he balances out our lines with the speed that he possesses,” Capuano said of Chimera. “He’s got tremendous speed, can back defenders off and I thought that line was good tonight, too.”
Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf scored in the third period for the Ducks and John Gibson finished with 27 saves. Anaheim fell to 0-2-1 on its season-opening five-game trip that includes four home openers before playing their own next Sunday.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle is still seeking his first win in his second stint in Anaheim. He spent six seasons with team from 2005-11.
“We had eight guys going to the World Cup through training camp,” said Getzlaf, who along with teammate Corey Perry played with Tavares on Canada’s championship team. “We didn’t get a chance to build together and build into that system that Randy wanted to play, and we’re learning. We’re getting better as we go along here and it’s going to take some speedbumps. We’re playing everybody’s home openers.”
Fowler made it 2-1 at 8:31 of the third when his wrist shot deflected off Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey’s skate and over Halak’s shoulder. Then, with the Ducks using six skaters with the goalie pulled, Getzlaf tied it with 1 minute remaining when his one-timer went inside the right post on Halak’s blocker side.
Tavares extended the Islanders’ lead to 2-0 at 7:59 of the third as he knocked in a rebound of his own shot past Gibson for his first of the season.
Fowler started the Ducks’ comeback just over 30 seconds later.
After getting outplayed in the opening period, the Ducks were the aggressors in the second. Anaheim had three power plays and outshot New York 13-5.
The Islanders nearly added to their lead with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the period when a shot by Lee hit the left goal post and rolled across the front of the goal line. The horn sounded and several New York players raised their hands but play continued.
The Islanders’ Casey Cizikas hobbled to the bench with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the second after blocking a shot by Antoine Vermette, but returned 1:20 later. However, he left the ice about five minutes into the third and went to the dressing room.
Capuano didn’t have an immediate update on Cizikas’ status after the game.
The Islanders outshot the Ducks 16-3 in the first period. Anaheim didn’t get its first shot until Nick Sorenson’s long slap shot from outside the blue line with 5:39 remaining.
Nelson got New York on the scoreboard at 7:47 of the first as he took a pass in front from Chimera, spun around with a defender on him and fired a wrist shot past Gibson.
NOTES: The Ducks’ opening road swing including home-openers at Dallas last Thursday, at New Jersey on Tuesday and at Philadelphia on Thursday. … Former Islanders greats Billy Smith, Bryan Trottier and Bobby Nystrom were announced on the ice for the ceremonial puck drop. … The Islanders placed F Shane Prince on IR due to a lower body injury. … Nelson has two goals and an assist and is the only Islanders player to have at least a point in each of the first three games. … New York began stretches of five straight and 10 of 11 at home.
Ducks: Continue their trip at New Jersey on Tuesday night.
Islanders: Host San Jose on Tuesday night.
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