ISLANDERS 4, FLORIDA 3, SO
Andy Hilbert made the most of his opportunity, scoring in the tenth round of a shootout to give the Islanders a 4-3 win Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum. Rick DiPietro made 22 saves during the game before stopping nine shots in the shootout.
The Islanders got on the board 5:55 into the game when Shawn Bates scored his first goal of the season. Brendan Witt threaded a two-line pass up to Bates, who beat Ed Belfour. DiPietro picked up the secondary assist.
Nathan Horton made it 1-1 on the power play by sliding one past DiPietro on the backhand for his fourth goal of the season at 7:59 of the first period.
It was 2-1 Islanders with 7:45 left in the first period. Sean Hill sprung Jason Blake for a 3-on-1 break. Blake fed it across to Alexei Yashin, who one timed it over the sprawling Ed Belfour for his fourth goal of the season.
Joel Kwiatkowski evened the score at two when he gathered a rebound and threw it past DiPietro for his second tally of the season with 9:52 remaining in the second period.
The Islanders went on top again with 1:02 remaining in the second period on the power play. Tom Poti slapped a pass down low to Blake, who tipped it into the open side on the backhand for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Stephen Weiss kicked the puck out in front to Jay Bouwmeester who one-timed it home to make it 3-3 with 3:29 left in the third period.
After a scoreless overtime, the Islanders participated in their third and longest shootout of the season. There was controversy after Miroslav Satan took the first shot. The puck slid across the line after Satan initially shot it, but it appeared Satan had hit the puck twice before it crossed the line. Replays showed he didn't, so it stood, giving the Islanders an early 1-0 lead.
Olli Jokinen tied it at one in the third round and then it wasn't until the tenth round that Hilbert salted the victory for the Islanders with a deke to the backhand.
Ted Nolan: "Tonight was one of out better games up to this point. I thought we played really well. Right from the get-go Yashin's line set the tone for our team and we kept it going."
Mike Sillinger: "This is a big win because it got us back to .500. We've now gotten points in every home game except one, so it's been a good home stand so far. I think it was overall the best all-around game we've played so far. To stick with it after Florida tied it up and then win it in the shootout was well deserved."
Stat of the Game: Rick DiPietro made nine saves in the shootout.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Jason Blake: Goal and an assist
2. Andy Hilbert: Capped off the longest Islanders shootout of the season
3. Rick DiPietro: Made 22 saves during regulation and overtime as well as nine in the
4. Alexei Yashin: Fourth goal of the year
5. Jay Bouwmeester: Game-tying goal in the third period
NYI 365 Fans of the Game: Zach (8) and Max (5) Berkowitz are from Plainview and got a chance to meet their favorite player Jason Blake at the NYI 365 Morning Skate, Saturday, as part of the benefit of being a season subscriber. Blake as well as Ted Nolan came out into the crowd after the morning skate to sign autographs. Check newyorkislanders.com for the next NYI 365 Morning Skate.
Slapshots: Sean Hill (2005-06), Mike Sillinger (2000-01) and Viktor Kozlov (97-04) are former Florida PanthersÂ¦There were no Islanders scratched tonight...Attendance tonight was 10,455.
Game Operations: There was no wedding tonight at the Coliseum, but there will be one soon. Alan Feldman proposed to Felicia during a first period TV timeout. The proposal was masked as Islanders trivia, with the question on the Daktronics Game Board reading "Felicia, will you marry me? - Alan." Felicia glowingly accepted and embraced Alan to cheers from the crowd.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
6 Sean Hill - 77 Alexei Zhitnik
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
8 Bruno Gervais - 3 Tom Poti
17 Shawn Bates - 18 Mike Sillinger - 10 Richard Park
55 Jason Blake - 79 Alexei Yashin - 25 Viktor Kozlov
7 Trent Hunter - 16 Mike York - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 11 Andy Hilbert - 45 Arron Asham
20 Ed Belfour
35 Alex Auld
4 Jay Bouwmeester - 2 Branislav Mezei
55 Ric Jackman - 24 Ruslan Salei
5 Bryan Allen - 7 Steve Montador
18 Ville Peltonen - 12 Olli Jokinen - 77 Chris Gratton
10 Gary Roberts - 9 Stephen Weiss - 13 Juraj Kolnik
23 Martin Gelinas - 15 Jozef Stumpel - 16 Nathan Horton
11 Gregory Campbell - 85 Rostislav Olesz - 8 Joel Kwiatkowski