COYOTES TOP ISLANDERS IN SEASON OPENER
The Islanders may not have won tonight's game, but they did win the third period. The Islanders fell behind 6-1 after two periods, but made it respectable after Viktor Kozlov, playing in his first game as an Islander, scored two goals to make the final score 6-3 in the team's season opener Thursday night at the Glendale Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Just 1:45 into the game, Miroslav Satan picked up the Islanders' first goal of the 2006-07 season. Mike York head-manned the puck to Trent Hunter, who skated into the offensive zone, pulled up on the left wing and found Satan on the far side. In one fluid motion, Satan had the puck on his forehand and fired it high over Curtis Joseph, who had gone down, for a 1-0 Islanders lead.
A bad break made it 1-1. Ladislav Nagy's centering pass on the power play deflected off Sean Hill's skate through Rick DiPietro's five-hole at 5:25 of the first period. Phoenix made it 2-1 at 9:35 of the first on Derek Morris' screened shot past DiPietro with the teams skating 4-on-4.
The second period was all Phoenix.
Another bad break cost the Islanders as Nagy's shot from in close caromed off of Brendan Witt's skate and slid beyond DiPietro's reach for his second goal of the game and a 3-1 Coyotes lead 7:34 into the second period.
At 9:02 of the second, Phoenix made it 4-1. Off a jam-up in front, Shane Doan found a loose puck and slid it through DiPietro's legs. Steve Reinprecht and Oleg Saprykin picked up the assists.
Mike Comrie fed rookie Joel Perrault for a breakaway and Perrault fired it through DiPietro's legs at 9:53 of the second period.
The Phoenix power play struck again, this time on a 5-on-3. Ed Jovanovki's shot from the point was perfectly deflected by Reinprecht over DiPietro for a 6-1 Coyotes lead with 7:49 left in the second period.
Viktor Kozlov got two goals in the third to make it 6-3. His first was off a Witt rebound with 3:04 gone by in the period at even strength and his second with 6:07 left in the period off another rebound from Alexei Yashin and Chris Simon on the power play.
Five Stars of the Game
1. Steve Reinprecht: A five point game (one goal, four assists). The Steve Reinprecht-Ladislav Nagy-Shane Doan line was buzzing all night.
2. Ladislav Nagy: Two goals and one assist.
3. Shane Doan: One goal and two assists.
4: Viktor Kozlov: Two goals in his first game as an Islander.
5. Ed Jovanovski: Two assists and a +4 rating.
Stat of the Game: Radek Martinek and Alexei Yashin each finished the game with a +1 rating.
Slapshots: Prior to the game, Ted Nolan named Brendan Witt and Mike Sillinger the alternate captains Chris Campoli (groin), Andy Hilbert (healthy) and Joel Bouchard (healthy) were tonight's scratches This is the 30th time in 34 years the Islanders opened on the road¦Mike Dunham replaced Rick DiPietro at the start of the third period.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
8 Bruno Gervais - 3 Tom Poti
77 Alexei Zhitnik 24 Radek Martinek
32 Brendan Witt 6 Sean Hill
25 Viktor Kozlov - 79 Alexei Yashin 18 Mike Sillinger
7 Trent Hunter - 16 Mike York - 81 Miroslav Satan
15 Jeff Tambellini 17 Shawn Bates - 55 Jason Blake
12 Chris Simon - 10 Richard Park 45 Arron Asham
31 Curtis Joseph
1 Mike Morrison
2 Keith Ballard 44 Nick Boynton
53 Derek Morris 55 Ed Jovanovski
22 Dennis Seidenberg 4 Michalek Zbynek
17 Ladislav Nagy - 28 Steve Reinprecht - 19 Shane Doan
97 Jeremy Roenick - 38 Dave Scatchard 12 Patrick Fischer
89 Mike Comrie 26 Joel Perrault - 11 Owen Nolan
91 Oleg Saprykin 15 Mike Zigomanis - 37 Georges Laraque