NEW JERSEY 2, ISLANDERS 0
By Jason Lockhart
All it took was one fluky goal for the New Jersey Devils to defeat the Islanders Saturday at the Nassau Coliseum. The Devils added an empty-net goal to skate away with a 2-0 victory. Martin Brodeur shut the door, stopping all 29 Islanders shots for the shutout.
Rick DiPietro was also solid in goal, but one bad bounce that cost the Islanders. At 5:21 of the first period, Brian Rafalski's shot from the point bounced off the glove of Bridgeport Sound Tiger call-up Allan Rourke, before fluttering into the net.
"We had one bad break on our side," said head coach Ted Nolan. "It took one fluke goal to separate the game."
Brodeur was the star of the game, not allowing one puck to go past him. DiPietro was equally stellar the rest of the way, allowing only one goal on a total of 35 shots.
"Both goaltenders were sensational," said Nolan. "We hit a few posts, but we just couldn't get any breaks."
Patrik Elias scored his 15th goal of the season with DiPietro pulled for an extra-attacker late in the third, to make it a 2-0 final.
Things got heated when Chris Campoli and Sergei Brylin scrapped at the end of the game, each receiving five-minute majors for fighting.
"We have to keep working hard," said Andy Hilbert. "We need one of those dirty goals that goes off someone's pant or shin pad. Hopefully, the flood gates will then open."
The Islanders return to the ice on New Year's Day, when they face the Buffalo Sabres on the road at 4 pm.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Martin Brodeur: Stopped all 29 shots
2. Rick DiPietro: Allowed only one goal on 35 shots
3. Brian Rafalski: Scored the game-winner
4. Paul Martin: Played 26 minutes and blocked four shots
5. Randy Robitaille: Forechecked hard and generated five shots
Stat of the Game: This was Martin Brodeur's sixth shutout of the season and the 86th of his career.
Havoc Zone Fans of the Game: Jamie Carbone is from Hofstra University and Amanda "yes her real last name attends SUNY Cortland" DiPietro from . "People often think we're related," said Amanda. "So when people ask me if I am, I say he's my husband. Some people actually believe me." The two friends found out about the Havoc Zone student from the website, and also heard how crazy it was the first game. The girls braved the cold for almost two hours to make sure they made it into the Havoc Zone.
Slapshots: The Islanders had a sell-out of 16,234 for the second game in a row...While Chris Campoli and Sergei Brylin were fighting, Rick DiPietro passed the shutout-puck to Martin Brodeur out of respect. Brodeur acknowledged the gesture and pointed back to DiPietro...DiPietro's home shutout streak was stopped at 191:08...Allan Rourke was recalled from Bridgeport after Radek Martinek went down with an ankle injury. Freddy Meyer (back) was also scratched.
Game Operations: It was Project Hope night at the Nassau Coliseum, with the kids from QiQihar, China visiting the Nassau Coliseum after participating in the first annual Charles B. Wang Project Hope Cup. The youth team first joined the Islanders on the ice during the singing of the national anthem. They then participated in a shootout during the first intermission to a standing ovation from the crowd. After finally taking of their skates, the boys from QiQihar made their way to the stands and cheered loudly for their favorite team, the Islanders!
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli 38 Allan Rourke
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
45 Arron Asham - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
25 Viktor Kozlov - 27 Randy Robitaille - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 17 Shawn Bates - 10 Richard Park
30 Martin Brodeur
40 Scott Clemmensen
28 Brian Rafalski - 21 Brad Lukowich
29 Johnny Oduya- 7 Paul Martin
2 David Hale - 8 Alex Brooks
26 Patrik Elias - 23 Scott Gomez - 14 Brian Gionta
9 Zach Parise - 19 Travis Zajac - 15 Jamie Langenbrunner
20 Jay Pandolfo - 11 John Madden - 18 Sergei Brylin
17 Michael Rupp - 12 Jim Dowd - 25 Cam Janssen