If you went to bed after the second period of Wednesday night's game, I wouldn't have blamed you. The Islanders were leading the reigning Stanley Cup champions, 3-0, and the nationally-televised start time of 8:00 had pushed the third period an hour later than usual.
So if you figured the Isles would win -- and even if they didn't, you didn't want to witness blowing a three-goal lead - you are forgiven for hitting the hay.
However, you missed a fireworks factory which included New York blowing that lead, then scoring three seconds apart in the final minute to put the icing on the most feel-good win of the season.
The writing was probably on the wall that a misstep was coming. After the Islanders' third goal, the Penguins started to regain their footing, getting zone entries with ease. It was just a matter of time until this supremely talented team got on the board, and it was just 32 seconds into the third period before Conor Shear got Pittsburgh within two.
Ten minutes later, Jason Chimera's weak defensive zone play allowed Justin Schultz to light the lamp, and just two-and-a-half minutes after that, Evgeni Malkin finished off some brilliant back checking work by Sidney Crosby to complete the Pens' climb back.
Give the Isles this, though: a team that is last in the league in the standings and had every reason to simply fold up shop stayed with it and found a way to get a massive regulation win.
It seemed like both teams were playing for overtime, as they dumped and changed to try to ensure they wouldn't get caught with tired legs on the ice to surrender the game-winner. But the Isles finally got a cycle working with just over half a minute to play.
Johnny Boychuk, who had three points, slid the puck across the point to Thomas Hickey, who fired a shot toward the net. It found Anders Lee's stick along the ice for the deflection with just 26.6 seconds to play.
Once Nikolay Kulemin added the empty-netter just three seconds later (tying an NHL record), the victory was complete. It may not have felt quite as good as it did after the second period was over, but in this back-to-back of death that concludes with a trip to Washington on Thursday evening, it was good enough.
"We were on our heels and that shouldn't happen after the two periods we played," Boychuk told reporters of the lost lead. "But we kept going, we kept trying to do the right things, and eventually, the right thing happened."
The Isles know they were 20 minutes away from their best effort of the season, and they can't pull the same disappearing act late if they want points in the nation's capital tonight. But this team looked like a different club through the first two stanzas, and that has to at least be a signal to them that they can play with the upper echelon of this league -- standings be damned.
And speaking of those standings, now just five points back of the Devils for the second Wild Card in a very weak Eastern Conference, there's at least a glimmer of hope for the Isles. And for some of us, that's all we need to get through what was shaping up to be and still may become, a very bleak winter.