ISLANDERS 5, ATLANTA 2
By Jason Lockhart
Mike Dunham made 30 saves, including a few incredible ones to help the Islanders skate past the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers 5-2 Thursday night at Philips Arena.
The Islanders briefly gave up the lead after going into the third period up 2-1, but Jason Blake scored the tie-breaker with 8:08 left in the third period before the Islanders tacked on two more.
The line of Jeff Tambellini, Viktor Kozlov and Miroslav Satan combined for three goals as Tambellini tallied three assists in his second game of the season with the Islanders.
Jon Sim scored the opening goal by banking in a wraparound off Islanders defenseman Allan Rourke's skate and past Dunham, 6:08 into the game.
The Islanders got it right back less than two minutes later. Satan's pass off the rush slipped through goaltender Kari Lehtonen's legs after deflecting off Kozlov and Atlanta defenseman Greg de Vries' sticks. Kozlov's 17th goal of the season was also assisted by Tambellini.
Dunham, Richard Park, Brendan Witt and Freddy Meyer did a marvelous job killing of a 5-on-3 Thrashers power play late in the first period that lasted 1:16.
Satan scored his 15th goal of the season to make it 2-1 Islanders. Tambellini battled behind the net and helped slide it over to Satan, who chipped it by Lehtonen with 8:49 remaining in the second period.
Marian Hossa was rewarded a penalty shot with 5:23 left in the second frame after being hauled down by Witt while on a breakaway. Hossa's shot hit the post, but did not cross the goal line.
Dunham made the save of the game late in the second when Ilya Kovalchuk lined up for a one-timer deep in the slot. Kovalchuk's shot was on its way in when Dunham snagged it with the glove to keep it 2-1 Islanders.
After Jim Slater tied the game in the third period, Blake regained the Islanders' lead. Blake streaked down the right wing and lifted the puck over Lehtonen for his team-leading 27th goal of the season.
The Islanders padded their lead on the power play. Kozlov passed the puck across to Sean Hill, who threw it into the crease off Trent Hunter's skate past Lehtonen with 3:59 remaining in the final period.
Kozlov sealed the game with an empty net goal for a 5-2 Islanders lead.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Mike Dunham: Brilliant in goal stopping
2. Jeff Tambellini: Three assists in his second NHL game of the season
3. Viktor Kozlov: Two goals and an assist
4. Miroslav Satan: A goal and two assists
5. Jason Blake: Tallied the game-winner late in the third period
Stat of the Game: Randy Robitaille won 81% of his draws.
Slapshot: Jason Blake is one shy of his career high of 28 goals in one season...Exactly 15 years ago, Denis Potvin became the first Islander to have his jersey retired...Alexei Yashin, Shawn Bates, Tom Poti and Bruno Gervais were tonight's Islanders scratches.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
38 Allan rourke- 44 Freddy Meyer
14 Chris Campoli - 6 Sean Hill
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon - 27 Randy Robitaille 55 Jason Blake
15 Jeff Tambellini - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 81 Miroslav Satan
10 Richard Park - 51 Frans Nielsen - 45 Arron Asham
32 Kari Lehtonen
1 Johan Hedberg
2 Garnett Exelby - 7 Greg de Vries
5 Steve McCarthy - 34 Shane Hnidy
25 Andy Sutton - 28 Niclas Havelid
17 Ilya Kovalchuk - 20 Steve Rucchin - 9 Glen Metropolit
39 Niko Kapanen -13 Slava Kozlov - 18 Marian Hossa
29 Brad Larsen - 16 Bobby Holik - 11 J.P. Vigier
14 Jon Sim - 23 Jim Slater -19 Scott Mellanby