ISLANDERS 5, FLORIDA 4, SO
By Jason Lockhart
Once again the Islanders needed a shootout to knock off the Florida Panthers, but this time it only took two rounds. Miroslav Satan and Viktor Kozlov both scored, while Rick DiPietro stopped both shooters to win the game 5-4 in a shootout at the Nassau Coliseum Saturday night.
Andy Hilbert got the Islanders on the board first by scoring his second goal of the season on a backhanded wrap-around 1:30 into the game.
Some shifty moves by Jason Blake setup Arron Asham's fifth goal of the season. Blake twisted and turn deep in the offensive zone before passing the puck in front, which found Asham. In one motion, Asham put in under goaltender Alex Auld for a 2-0 lead, 9:16 gone by in the first period.
The Panthers scored their first goal of the game on the power play with 2:04 left in the first period. Nathan Horton stepped into the slot a ripped a slapshot for his eighth goal of the season.
The Panthers got the equalizer with 2:34 left in the second period. Horton dropped a pass to Gary Roberts, who wristed a shot home for his eighth goal of the season. Stephen Weiss made it 3-2 with a wrist shot 24 seconds later.
Radek Martinek got the Islanders even with his second goal of the season. The puck squirted back to Martinek who fired it past Auld with 4:47 gone by in the third period.
Satan had an entire net to shoot on thanks to the work of Mike Sillinger to put the Islanders up 4-3. Alexei Zhitnik's shot bounced of the end boards to Sillinger, who threw it in front. Satan picked up the loose puck and deposited it into the net with 1:50 left in the third period.
Ruslan Salei tied the game up at four with 42.5 seconds left in the third period.
During the overtime period, the Islanders successfully killed off a power play with some gritty defensive play and superb goaltending from DiPietro.
In the shootout, Satan and Kozlov both scored on wrist shots. For Florida, Ville Peltonen and Rotislav Olesz were stoned by DiPietro.
Ted Nolan: "We were very fortunate to win this game, especially the way we played that second period. The one good thing is that we showed resilience and we found a way."
Mike Sillinger: "Ricky has been fantastic in the shootout this year. He always gives us a chance to win every night and that's what you need to win in this league."
Miroslav Satan: "My third-period goal was an easy one. It was my linemates who did a great job working hard to get the puck free. It came out to me and I was wide open. On the shootout goal I just looked for what was open and I saw there was space under the blocker, and it went in."
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Miroslav Satan: Scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the clincher in the shootout
2. Nathan Horton: A Goal and an assist
3. Mike Sillinger: Two assists
4. Andy Hilbert: Got things started for the Islanders
5. Ruslan Salei: Put the game into overtime with a late goal
Stat of the Game: Shawn Bates won 75% of his faceoffs.
NYI 365 Fans of the Game: John Hopkins and his two children Jack and Becky attended the NYI 365 morning skate this morning and met rookie forward Blake Comeau. John recalls going to the 1980 Stanley Cup-clinching game against Philadelphia on May 24th. "It was such an awesome experience being at that game," said John. "It was unbelievably loud and I've been a fan ever since."
Slapshots: Mike Bossy (#22), Billy Smith (#31) and Butch Goring (#91) were named by Newsday as the greatest New York sports figures to wear their respective numbers...Trent Hunter (knee) and Joel Bouchard (healthy) were tonight's scratches...Tonight's attendance was 12,825.
Game Operations: The New York Dragons FireDancers performed during a stoppage in the first period in anticipation of the start of the 2007 Dragons season, which is less than three months away...LIPA held a raffle to give away thousands of dollars worth of prizes including a 40" LCD Flat screen Energy Star Qualified TV...The Nassau County Girl Scouts performed the national anthem beautifully before the start of the game.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 6 Sean Hill
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
45 Arron Asham - 18 Mike Sillinger - 55 Jason Blake
12 Chris Simon - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 11 Andy Hilbert
10 Richard Park - 16 Mike York - 81 Miroslav Satan
33 Eric Boguniecki - 17 Shawn Bates - 57 Blake Comeau
35 Alex Auld
20 Ed Belfour
2 Branislav Mezei - 55 Ric Jackman
24 Ruslan Salei - 4 Jay Bouwmeester
5 Bryan Allen - 26 Mike Van Ryan
10 Gary Roberts - 12 Olli Jokinen - 16 Nathan Horton
85 Rostislav Olesz - 9 Stephen Weiss - 77 Chris Gratton
18 Ville Peltonen - 15 Jozef Stumpel - 11 Gregory Campbell
23 Martin Gelinas - 50 Drew Larman - 51 Rob Globke