John Tavares scored 34 seconds into overtime, and the Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Joshua Ho-Sang and Jason Chimera scored in the final 65 seconds of the second period to help the Islanders erase a 2-0 deficit and eventually claim what interim coach Doug Weight called a must-win game.
Tavares' winner was set up by Ho-Sang's takeaway at center ice. Ho-Sang brought the puck across the blue line and fed a drop pass to Tavares, who snapped it past Cam Ward.
Joakim Nordstrom and Elias Lindholm scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost three of five but earned points in four straight.
Thomas Greiss made 30 saves one night after allowing four goals on 16 shots in relief during an 8-4 loss to the Hurricanes at home. Ward, who also gave up four goals in that game, made 31 saves for Carolina.
After that loss Monday night, Weight called this "the biggest game of the year" for the Islanders because "it's going to dictate a lot of what's going to happen the next month." They entered tied with Tampa Bay, one point behind Toronto for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
And after a slow start, they rallied with that second-period flurry, with Ho-Sang scoring with 1:05 left and Chimera tying it at 2 with 39.3 seconds remaining. Both goals came from the circle to Ward's right.
New York's best chance to score in the third came when Ward stopped a flurry of shots by Josh Bailey in the final three minutes.
That came after Nordstrom took a pass from Lee Stempniak and snapped the puck past Greiss from the circle with 7:30 left in the first to put Carolina up 1-0. Lindholm put the Hurricanes up by two goals with a breakaway score 40 seconds into the second, set up by Nick Leddy's whiff at the blue line.
NOTES: Carolina C Lucas Wallmark, who assisted on Nordstrom's goal, earned his first NHL point. ... Hurricanes C Jay McClement left in the second period with a lower-body injury. ... Islanders C Alan Quine, back in the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury, rang a shot off the crossbar about six minutes in. Tavares hit the left post on a power play late in the second.
Islanders: Play just their second home game since Feb. 19 on Thursday night when Winnipeg visits.
Hurricanes: Play host to Western Conference leader Minnesota on Thursday night, when former Carolina captain Eric Staal returns to Raleigh with the Wild.