ISLANDERS 5, BOSTON 4, SO
By Jason Lockhart
It was an exciting game in Boston, Thursday night, but once it was all said and done, the Islanders claimed victory by the score of 5-4 on Jason Blake's tally in the fourth round of a shootout at the TD Banknorth Garden.
There would never have been a shootout had Rick DiPietro not made the save of the season in the overtime session. Just 45 seconds in, Glen Murray had all day to put the puck into an empty net, but DiPietro dove across and stopped the puck with his paddle to extend the game. DiPietro stopped 38 shots, including ten in overtime to earn his 18th win.
"Ricky played outstanding tonight," said Blake. "That save Ricky made in overtime was unbelievable."
The Islanders climbed back after being down following the first and second periods to win their second game of the season when trailing after 40 minutes.
"Every time you go down 2-0, fall behind after two periods and then battle back, it's a gutsy performance," said Nolan.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead after one period of play on goals by Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard.
With less than three minutes left in the first period, Sean Hill pulled off the biggest hit of the season for the Islanders. Zdeno Chara gained the neutral zone when Hill caught him with his head down and laid him out with a hip check.
The Islanders found some jump in the second period. Randy Robitaille cut the lead to 2-1 on his first goal of the season as an Islander. Robitaille deflected Miroslav Satan's wrist shot past Bruins netminder Hannu Toivonen at 5:39 of the second period.
What appeared to be a tight game after two periods turned into a slugfest as the teams combined for five goals in the third period.
Just 22 seconds into the third period, the Mike Sillinger-Andy Hilbert-Trent Hunter line struck for the fifth game in a row. Sillinger entered the offensive zone and passed it over to Hilbert, who fired a shot on Toivonen. Hunter crashed the net and banged home the rebound for his eighth goal of the season.
The Bruins and Islanders then traded power play tallies to keep the score tied. Chara scored his eighth of the season and Tom Poti, in front of over 25 friends and family, notched his fourth goal of the 2006-07 campaign.
It looked bleak for the Islanders when the Bruins scored to make it 4-3 with 6:15 remaining in the third period. After receiving a feed from Savard, Bruins defenseman Paul Mara slid one past DiPietro.
From there, DiPietro would shine to keep the Bruins off the scoreboard.
With only 1:39 remaining in the third period Viktor Kozlov made sure the game would go to overtime by wristing one past Toivonen on the power play.
"The two power play goals in the third were huge," said DiPietro. "They generated a lot of chances and got traffic in front. On the last goal, Kozzy went to the net and got a quick shot off."
Just 45 seconds into the overtime session, DiPietro made the save of the game on Murray to help send it into a shootout.
Satan and Savard traded goals in the opening three rounds before DiPietro stopped Brad Boyes and Blake converted in round four. Blake came in from the right wing side before skating across the crease and roofing it over a fallen Toivonen.
"Usually I just go straight down on the goalie, hit the goalie or miss the net," said Blake. "I just hoped to change the angle and make him move a little bit more. Fortunately it went in."
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Miroslav Satan: Tallied two assists in regulation and scored in the SO
2. Jason Blake: Ended the game in the fourth round of the shootout
3. Marc Savard: A goal and two assists in regulation and netted one in the SO
4. Rick DiPietro: Came up huge in the OT and SO
5. Viktor Kozlov: Sent the game into OT with a late power play goal
Stat of the Game: The Islanders went 2 for 3 on the power play.
Slapshots: Rick DiPietro is 3-1 in shootouts and has stopped 20 of 23 shooters...Shawn Bates returned to the lineup after sitting out the last two games with a hand injury...Richard Park wore a face guard after receiving a puck to the face in the Rangers game...Radek Martinek (foot) and Frans Nielsen (healthy) were tonight's scratches...Prior to the start of the game, the Bruins' Marc Savard donated his $1,000 award for being named one of this week's NHL Three Stars to the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation...Five Islanders can claim ties to the Boston area. Rick DiPietro and Shawn Bates grew up just outside Boston, while Freddy Meyer lived in nearby New Hampshire. Tom Poti skated for the Boston University Terriers and Andy Hilbert was a former Boston Bruin...The Bruins put their helmets on backwards during the shootout as rally caps.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli 44 Freddy Meyer
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
17 Shawn Bates - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
25 Viktor Kozlov - 27 Randy Robitaille - 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon - 45 Arron Asham - 10 Richard Park
54 Hannu Toivonen
30 Tim Thomas
33 Zdeno Chara - 23 Paul Mara
6 Brad Stuart - 41 Andrew Alberts
49 Matt Lashoff - 68 Milan Jurcina
27 Glen Murray - 91 Marc Savard - 11 P.J. Axelsson
16 Marco Sturm - 37 Patrice Bergeron - 26 Brad Boyes
32 Jeff Hoggan - 81 Phil Kessel - 17 Petr Tenkrat
18 Mark Mowers - 20 Wayne Primeau - 22 Shean Donovan