ISLANDERS 4, CAROLINA 2
Behind superb defense and outstanding puck control, the Islanders (10-7-3) limited the Carolina Hurricanes to 15 shots on goal in the game, and won 4-2, behind third-period goals from Jason Blake and Alexei Yashin, Wednesday night at the Nassau Coliseum
The Islanders got off to a fast start on an odd-man rush. Alexei Zhitnik sprung Richard Park and Bates on a 2-on-1. Park feathered a perfect pass to Bates, who one-timed it past John Grahame for a 1-0 lead, 3:53 into the game.
Rick DiPietro made his best save of the game in the second period. Scott Walker received a centering pass and one-timed it on goal, but DiPietro snared it with the trapper to keep it 1-0 Islanders.
It took a 3-on-1 to get another puck past Grahame and make it 2-0 with 5:49 gone by in the third period. Alexei Zhitnik poked the puck ahead to Yashin and he was off to the races with Blake. Yashin fed Blake, who waited for Grahame to go down and fired it over him for his 12th goal of the season.
Yashin scored his ninth goal of the season on the power play with 8:42 remaining in the third period.
Arron Asham and Craig Adams electrified the Nassau Coliseum crowd by dropping the gloves with 8:12 left in the game. Asham landed a number of haymakers throughout the fight before the linesmen broke up the scrap.
Walker broke DiPietro's shutout bid by scoring on the power play, late in the third period. Miroslav Satan scored an empty-netter with 49.2 seconds left to make it 4-1, but Trevor Letowski cut the lead to 4-2 in the final 12 seconds.
Alexei Yashin: "Last year I thought Blakey and I created some opportunities and chances, but it wasn't going in for us. This year we're clicking again, but the pucks have been going in the net for us."
Jason Blake: "If you outwork your opponents, eight out ten times you're going to win. Everyone on the team played a good game tonight."
Ted Nolan: "I really liked our start tonight. We addressed that following the loss to Toronto and tonight they were ready right from the get-go.".
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Alexei Zhitnik: Two assists and helped keep Canes to 15 shots on goal
2. Alexei Yashin: One goal and one assist
3. Shawn Bates: Got the Islanders started with his second goal of the season
4. Jason Blake: Team-leading 12th of the season and an assist
5. John Grahame: Kept the Canes in the game, stopping 44 of 47 shots
Stat of the Game: The Islanders are 3-0 in games where Arron Asham has received a five-minute major for fighting.
Fan of the Game: Christine Scully from Bethpage has only been an Islanders fan for three years, but she's already claimed Miroslav Satan as her favorite player. This is the third year she's attended a game around Thanksgiving, calling it a tradition. I've been an Islanders fan for three years because of my boyfriend and it's been a tradition to come to a game before Thanksgiving. I'll be with my boyfriend's family on Thanksgiving in Hicksville.
Slapshots: The Islanders tied a franchise record by allowing only one shot in the first period. They have now accomplished that feat nine times, last doing it on October 10, 2002 at Buffalo Kevyn Adams recorded the lone shot in the first period for the Hurricanes Tonight's attendance was 12,419.
Game Operations: The first period intermission featured Mites on Ice. The Clarkson Capitals from Rockland County ages eight and under, participated in shootouts on both ends of the rink. Goaltenders Riku Robins and Ryan Zalduondo were stellar in net, allowing a combined two goals on over 20 shots.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 6 Sean Hill
12 Chris Simon - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
7 Trent Hunter - 16 Mike York - 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 25 Viktor Kozlov
45 Arron Asham - 17 Shawn Bates - 10 Richard Park
47 John Grahame
30 Cam Ward
6 Bret Hedican - 22 Mike Commodore
28 Andrew Hutchinson - 4 Glen Wesley
8 Tim Gleason - 48 Anton Babchuk
13 Ray Whitney - 17 Rod Brind'Amour - 26 Erik Cole
16 Andrew Ladd - 12 Eric Staal - 11 Justin Williams
27 Craig Adams - 25 Eric Belanger - 24 Scott Walker
19 Trevor Letowski - 14 Kevyn Adams - 59 Chad LaRose