NASHVILLE 2, ISLANDERS 1, SO
By Jason Lockhart
The Islanders fell just short in their second home game, dropping a 2-1 final to Nashville in a shootout. Steve Sullivan and Paul Kariya scored in the shootout to clinch it for Nashville after Miroslav Satan and Viktor Kozlov failed to score in the first two rounds. The Islanders picked up a point a now hold a record of 2-3-1.
Time had just expired on the Islanders' first power play of the game when Mike Sillinger got the game's first goal against his former team, and his second in two games. Mike York slid the puck to the side of the net and Sillinger spun around and put it through Tomas Vokoun's five-hole on the backhand at 4:39 of the first period. Chris Simon was credited with the other assist.
Mike Dunham wasn't tested much in the first period only seven shots against but when he was, he came up big. Rookie Vernon Fiddler skated in on a 2-on-1 and fed a pass to Scott Hartnell, who corralled the puck and fired it into an empty side, but Dunham slid across to make a spectacular glove save to keep it 1-0 Islanders.
Sullivan evened the score at one with 9:45 remaining in the second period. David Legwand fed a cross-ice pass to Sullivan, who one-timed by Dunham, for his third of the season. Dunham got a piece of the puck with his glove, but not enough to keep it from going over the line.
Dunham was strong in net following the Sullivan's goal as the Predators put on substantial pressure. Nashville out shot the Islanders 13-8 in the second period, but the teams went into the intermission tied at one.
There was a scare in the third period when Dunham took a Kimmo Timmonen slapshot off the mask with 3:33 left. After staying on the ground for a few minutes, Dunham shook it off and finished the game.
A tight third period and overtime led to the shootout. In the shootout both Sullivan and Kariya shot it high over Dunham to beat him, while Miroslav Satan and Viktor Kozlov were stoned by Vokoun.
Ted Nolan: "In the defensive zone we're getting better. Game by game we're getting better and better. We're playing some pretty good teams. Nashville is probably as fast as Anaheim and those are two pretty quick teams. Anytime you hold a team like that to one even strength goal almost a power play goal that's one positive stride we can take from the game."
Mike Dunham: "The puck just rose (on that shot that hit his mask), I didn't even expect it. The puck was up near my chin, so I just tried to brace myself and get my shoulder onto it. It hit dead on and it's just one of the hazards of the job. We played pretty well tonight. Nashville just tried to wait until we turned the puck over. When we did get the puck deep we took the play to them."
Shawn Bates: "It's tough playing in a game where there's not a lot of flow. There wasn't much happening out there; a lot of turnovers. It was a pretty frustrating game. It was just one of those games where things weren't bouncing our way. It was just a tough battle and a tough game."
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Steve Sullivan: Scored two goals including one in the shootout.
2. Mike Dunham: Stopped 32 of 33 shots in the losing effort.
3. Tomas Vokoun: Made 26 saves to earn the win.
4. Mike Sillinger: Tallied 200th goal of career against former team and effective on faceoffs.
5. Paul Kariya: Scored the clincher in the shootout.
Stat of the Game: Mike Sillinger won 15 of 24 faceoffs.
Fan of the Game: Matthew Papa from Montclair NJ attended his first Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum tonight. He's been an Islanders fan for two years and was excited about finally getting the chance to see the Islanders live "I always thought the Islanders were a cool team," said Matthew. "I finally got really into them recently. All the fans seemed very devoted and the players seemed like cool guys. I just became a big fan because it seems like a great group of guys." Matthew lists his favorite player as Jason Blake.
Game Operations: Eleven-year-old Lanie Halpern graced the Nassau Coliseum ice during the first intermission. She performed a wonderful routine to the delight of the crowd, who stood and cheered during the program. Halpern skates out of Islanders Iceworks and at only 11-years-old has already been skating for seven.
Slapshots: Mike Sillinger's goal was the 200th of his NHL careerÂ¦Sillinger and Brendan Witt both played for Nashville last season while Mike Dunham skated for Nashville from 1999-2003Â¦Tonight's scratches were Rick DiPietro (groin), Joel Bouchard (hamstring) and Chris Campoli (groin).
1 Mike Dunham
34 Wade Dubielewicz
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 6 Sean Hill
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
55 Jason Blake - 79 Alexei Yashin - 25 Viktor Kozlov
7 Trent Hunter - 18 Mike Sillinger - 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert - 17 Shawn Bates - 10 Richard Park
12 Chris Simon - 16 Mike York - 45 Arron Asham
29 Tomas Vokoun
30 Chris Mason
44 Kimmo Timonen - 3 Marek Zidlicky
42 Mikko Lehtonen - 20 Ryan Suter -
2 Dan Hamhuis - 6 Shea Weber
9 Paul Kariya - 19 Jason Arnott - 10 Martin Erat
26 Steve Sullivan - 11 David Legwand - 71 J.P. Dumont
38 Vernon Fiddler - 63 Josef Vasicek - 17 Scott Hartnell
7 Scottie Upshall - 25 Jerred Smithson - 22 Jordin Tootoo