YORK LEADS ISLES TO WIN
By Kerry Gwydir and Corey Witt
Mike York tied his single-game career high in points with five (two goals, three assists) as the Islanders rolled past the St. Louis Blues 6-3 at the Savvis Center to improve to 2-0 on their current three-game road trip. Rick DiPietro made 31 saves for the win. Mark Parrish also had two goals, including the eventual game-winner.
"Good things will happen when you have guys working as hard as we did tonight, especially on the road," said York. "I was just at the right place at the right time tonight. As a team, we need to carry this over and finish the trip with another win at Columbus on Thursday."
York started things off as he scored his first of the night at the 4:38 mark of the opening period. The Islanders' center slammed home his fifth of the season during a goal-mouth scramble after Jason Blake had taken the puck hard to the front of the net. With Trent Hunter whacking away at front and the St Louis defensive coverage very stationary, York eventually whacked a loose puck past the downed Patrick Lalime.
Both teams had powerplay opportunities in the first period, and it was York netting his second of the stanza with 3:24 to play. A pretty fake by Radek Martinek at the left faceoff dot froze the St. Louis coverage, allowing Chris Campoli to one-time Martinek's eventual feed on net. There, York was situated to re-direct Campoli's shot inside the right post.
With 35.1 seconds left in the period, Mark Parrish finished off a 2-on-1 as a penalty to Alexei Yashin was just completed. A key play by Brent Sopel to break up a St. Louis rush allowed York and Parrish to break down the ice in full stride. York waited until the last second to feed Parrish, who beat Lalime with a quick swipe of the stick.
A late first-period penalty to Arron Asham and another early in the second to Blake gave the Blues a 5-on-3 for 18 seconds. In between those penalties, Brad Lukowich saved a sure goal when he made a diving stick-rejection off a Dennis Wideman shot with Rick DiPietro down and an open net waning.
But the Isles continued to play undisciplined hockey and took penalties in the second period -- which finally caught up with them with 8:09 left in the period when Eric Boguniecki slapped a loose puck over DiPietro. A point shot from Scott Young started the sequence as Keith Tkachuk chipped away at the rebound.
That didn't stop that Isles' parade to the sin bin as with 5:40 to go in the middle period, both Sopel and Lukowich wound up taking penalties - thus giving the hosts another 5-on-3 for 1:18. And, again, the Blues converted. This time, it was Tkachuk getting the goal, a roof-job off the rebound of a Young blast from the point with 4:41 left in the second.
A double-minor to St. Louis defenseman Matt Walker was handed out after he tried to goad Asham into a fight that sent the Islanders onto the power play and turned into a New York goal. A blast Alexei Yashin first hit Blake en route to being knocked in by Parrish. That tally shifted the momentum of the game towards the Islanders and wound up chasing the St. Louis netminder for backup Curtis Sanford.
The Islanders opened up a 5-2 lead when Blake buried a breakaway goal past Sanford at 3:31. York got his fourth point of the night as he fed Blake the puck through two Blues defenders. Blake wristed his shot right underneath the crossbar for the tally.
With the Islanders on the powerplay, they upped their lead to 6-2 at 5:25 when Asham beat Sanford glove side for his fourth of the season. York netted his fifth point of the night on his third assist. The Islanders were on the man advantage with the Blues' Kevin Dallman in the penalty box for boarding Parrish. Alexei Zhitnik recorded the other assist on the goal.
The Blues cut the Islanders lead to 6-3 at 12:38 with a goal from Simon Gamache right after a four minute St. Louis powerplay expired. Jamal Mayers and Tkachuk recorded the assists.
LUKOWICH JOINS THE 400 CLUB
Brad Lukowich joined the 400 NHL game club tonight. In his first season with the Islanders, Lukowich was originally drafted by the Islanders in the fourth round (90th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He started his career with the Dallas Stars and played in 224 games with them before being traded to Tampa Bay on June 22, 2002. With The Lightning, he played in 149 games en route to winning the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004. This season, he has played in all 26 games with the Islanders. Teammate Mike York also played in his 400th NHL game this week in the Islanders 2-1 win in Detroit on Sunday.
Assistant coach Jack Capuano's roommate and teammate at the University of Maine was St. Louis defenseman Eric Weinrich...
Former Islander Eric Brewer, acquired in the offseason as a part of a blockbuster for Chris Pronger, is out another four to eight weeks with a shoulder separation...
Kevin Colley made his mark early in the game with two big hits, which drew the attention of the OLN crew...
Mark Parrish left the game early with back spasms after the Dallman boarding hit in the third period. With the lead, he was held out for precautionary reasons...
The Islanders have won three straight on the road and six of the past seven...
(45) Arron Asham-(79) Alexei Yashin-(81) Miroslav Satan
(55) Jason Blake-(16) Mike York-(7) Trent Hunter
(11) Mattias Weinhandl-(28) Wyatt Smith-(37) Mark Parrish
(62) Kevin Colley-(49) Eric Godard
(77) Alexei Zhitnik-(3) Brent Sopel
(44) Janne Niinimaa-(25) Brad Lukowich
(14) Chris Campoli-(24) Radek Martinek
(6) Bruno Gervais
(39) Rick DiPietro
(30) Garth Snow
(37) Dean McAmmond-(39) Doug Weight-(48) Scott Young
(7) Keith Tkachuk-(18) Mike Sillinger-(20) Simon Gamache
(10) Dallas Drake-(21) Jamal Mayers-(42) Mark Rycroft
(12) Lee Stempniak-99) Jay McClement-(33) Eric Boguniecki
(5) Barrett Jackman-(25) Dennis Weidman
(27) Bryce Salvador-(28) Matt Walker
(6) Eric Weinrich-(38) Kevin Dallman
(40) Patrick Lalime
(1) Curtis Sanford