NEW JERSEY 2, ISLANDERS 1, OT
The Islanders almost completed a miraculous comeback by scoring in the final second of regulation to tie the game at one against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils, however, took advantage of a turnover in the offensive zone, during overtime, to grab two points. Patrik Elias stole a pass from Bruno Gervais in the Islanders' defensive end and fed Scott Gomez for his eight goal of the season with 1:20 remaining in overtime to win the game for the Devils, 2-1, Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
Martin Brodeur stopped 27 of 28 shots for the win, while Rick DiPietro turned aside 28 of 30.
John Madden scored what appeared to be the only goal the Devils would need by capitalizing on a rush with only 78 ticks left on the clock in the third period.
But with just over 10 seconds left in the third period, the Islanders controlled a faceoff in the Devils zone, while on the power play with Rick DiPietro pulled. After a mad scramble in the slot, Tom Poti pushed the puck in front to Miroslav Satan, who slammed it home with .7 seconds left in the third period.
"I was happy we finally got the goal and had a chance to take it into overtime," said Satan. "I didn't see the puck coming towards me. I just saw it at the last second and it was an instinct play. I swung at the puck; it hit the post and went in. It was lucky."
After scoring, Satan couldn't contain his excitement and jumped into the boards with the sellout crowd of 16,234 on their feet.
In the overtime period, Satan had an excellent opportunity turned away when Colin White dove from behind to knock the puck away.
"(White) was right behind me on the play," said Satan. "He hit my stick and my stick hit the puck away. I don't know if he meant to do it, but if he did, it was a pretty good play.
The Islanders return to the ice on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for a 12 pm start against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Nassau Coliseum.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Martin Brodeur: It took 59:59 to beat him
2. Rick DiPietro: Played brilliantly, allowing only two goals on 30 shots
3. Scott Gomez: Converted in the OT off a turnover
4. Miroslav Satan: Sent the Coliseum into a frenzy with his late heroics
5. John Madden: Scored the Devils' first goal
Stat of the Game: The Islanders won 63% of their draws.
Havoc Zone Fans of the Game: There are Islanders fans, and then there are dedicated Islanders fans. Christi, Justin and Sabrina are three dedicated Islanders fans. They arrived at the Coliseum at 11:49 am in order to be the first fans in line for the Havoc Zone $19 student discount tickets. Sabrina made them come early because she had been to one of the previous Havoc Zone games three hours early and the cut-off for the prime seating was right behind her on line. They also heard correctly, that there was limited availability, so they made a day out of it. "We played football for a little while to pass the time," said Sabrina. "Once it started raining we made a tent out of umbrellas," added Justin. "We spent $20 had Party City to make sure we had enough blue and orange stuff for the game." "It was worth waiting out here because it was so fun last time," said Sabrina.
Slapshots: Jason Blake was selected to the 2007 NHL All-Star game, which will be held in Dallas on January 24...Radek Martinek skated with the team this morning, but was still a scratch for tonight's game...The Islanders wore Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation patches on their jerseys, which will be auctioned off to benefit the foundation. All 30 teams are participating to support Brooks' foundation...Freddy Meyer skated in his first game with the Islanders at home.
Game Operations: Johnny Pohlman dropped the ceremonial puck at tonight's game. One of Johnny's family members passed away from cancer and Hospice Care Network helped Johnny and his family through this trying time. HCN Vice President of Consoling Services, Mary Gravina, joined Johnny on the ice...The Walt Whitman Sign Language class accompanied Jeanna Campo during the singing of the National Anthem prior to the start of the game...The game ops crew debuted a new feature for the Daktronics ProStar Video Screen. Prior to the game and during, fans could text in answers and responses to questions featured on the Video screen. The results were then displayed throughout the game.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 6 Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli - 44 Freddy Meyer
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
27 Randy Robitaille - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 17 Shawn Bates - 45 Arron Asham
30 Martin Brodeur
40 Scott Clemmensen
5 Colin White - 28 Brian Rafalski
21 Brad Lukowich - 7 Paul Martin
2 David Hale - 6 Andy Greene
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 - 10 Erik Rasmussen