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Hickey’s goal gives Isles OT win over Senators

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Thomas Hickey set up a third-period goal and scored 3:06 into overtime as the New York Islanders started December just as they ended November, with a victory — 3-2 over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

The defenseman netted his second of the season with a wraparound goal to help the Islanders improve to 8-0 in games decided after regulation.

Jaroslav Halak, the NHL’s No. 1 star last week, wasn’t busy but earned his team-record tying 10th straight win with a 16-save performance. Brock Nelson scored in the second period for the Islanders, who have won seven of eight and 12 of 14.

Ottawa had used a crisp play to tie it as Mark Stone, on the goal line to Halak’s left, fed the puck in front to Clarke MacArthur for his ninth goal at 11:14.

The Islanders took a 2-1 lead 1:07 into the third during 4-on-4 play. Hickey tried to jam the puck past Craig Anderson at the right post. It caromed across the crease to Ryan Strome, who stuffed it in on the left side for his fifth goal.

Mike Hoffman scored in the first period, and Anderson made 25 saves for the Senators, who have lost five of six. These teams meet again in Ottawa on Thursday.

It took until late in the second period for the Islanders to get going, and for a brief moment they thought they might have taken the lead.

New York got even when Kyle Okposo forced a turnover and flung a backhand pass behind his back from the center-ice boards that Nelson tracked down in the Senators end. He skated in alone on Anderson and beat him with a shot with 1:34 remaining for his 11th goal.

Then, just as time was expiring in the period, Casey Cizikas fired a rising drive from above the left circle that hit the top corner of the net just as the green light behind it went on to signal time had run out. The officials went to video replay, and before they could announce “no goal,” the crowd groaned as it saw on the big board that the puck was shy of the line when the clock hit 0.0.

Neither team could muster much offense in either of the first two periods. New York had a 15-11 shots edge through 40 minutes. The only two penalty calls in that span came 31 seconds apart in the final minute of the second.

The Senators took a 1-0 lead in a lackluster first period in which the teams combined for only 14 shots — five for Ottawa.

Hoffman fired an unscreened shot from a few feet inside the blue line that beat Halak at 10:02. Hoffman’s eighth goal of the season came on the Senators’ third shot.

NOTES: Injured Senators RW Bobby Ryan missed his second game. … The Islanders were again without Lubomir Visnovsky and fellow defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Visnovsky sat out his second straight game, and Boychuk was sidelined for his third.

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