The end result in Vancouver on Thursday was two points, but the Islanders knew that they had stolen them.
"It wasn't a great game," John Tavares told reporters after the game. "They came out hard. They're playing desperate and threw everything at us. We did a good job of giving ourselves an opportunity to win. [It was] unfortunate to give up one late, but good perseverance overcoming the way we played today and getting a big goal in overtime."
The Isles led 3-2, but the Canucks scored with an extra attacker with just under 20 seconds to play in regulation to force overtime.
"I was in full panic, but I just kind of stood [still]," Islanders coach Doug Weight said of the late blown third period lead. "It's a bad feeling, especially amidst the game we had. You can't believe you're in the lead after two and you come out and have a good period. It's frustrating to give the goal up, but that's what overtime is for."
The Islanders have now tallied 11 of a possible 16 points on their season-long road trip. The final game of the nine-game swing will take place on Saturday night in St. Louis before the team returns home to Brooklyn.
We're past the point in the season where I'm going to turn my nose up at two points. There's no extra credit for style right now, and even though the Isles probably didn't deserve the positive result they escaped British Columbia with, they got it, and that's really all that matters.
That said, I like that the team knows they have to tighten up if they're going to keep getting these wins down the stretch. Eric Hornick had the 5-on-5 attempts 41-to-32 in favor of Vancover, but the Isles did outshoot the Canucks 13-to-7 in the third period. But just because the third period was better, it doesn't mean it was perfect. New York lost 15 of their 21 draws in the final stanza, and that's not going to get it done in crunch time against good teams.
Still, this is a war of attrition right now. The Isles has control of their season in their hands, and they've only helped their cause with this trip. It's not always going to be pretty, and Thursday was proof positive of that. But as long as they keep the train moving, they may eventually punch themselves a one-way ticket to the postseason.