NEW JERSEY 2, ISLANDERS 0
By Jason Lockhart
For the second time in a row, Martin Brodeur kept the Islanders off the scoreboard as the New Jersey Devils won 2-0 Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
John Madden and Sergei Brylin provided the offense for the Devils that have now won five games in a row against the Islanders. Brodeur stopped all 26 Islanders shots to complete his 11th shutout of the season, while Rick DiPietro turned aside 28 of 30 shots in the losing effort.
"It was tough to get things going," said head coach Ted Nolan. "When we did generate chances Brodeur was there to stop the big shots."
The battle of these two division rivals heated up early. Just 3:12 into the game, heavyweights Arron Asham and Cam Janssen dropped the gloves and got the Nassau Coliseum crowd into the game. Asham out-dueled Janssen in one of the longer fights this season on the Coliseum ice.
With just over 11 minutes left in the first period the physical play continued when Freddy Meyer laid out Patrik Elias with a clean open-ice hit.
But it was the Devils that jumped ahead 1-0 with 5:39 to go in the first period off an Islanders turnover. Madden completed a 3-on-2 rush when he deflected home Erik Rasmussen's cross-ice feed.
"They're good at frustrating other teams," said Brendan Witt. "They made us made a mistake and capitalized on it."
The game boiled over again when recent Bridgeport recall Drew Fata and Michael Rupp went toe-to-toe in the game's second fight, with 8:34 left in the second period.
The Devils went up 2-0, on the power play, after completing another tic-tac-toe passing play with 7:34 remaining in the middle frame. Patrik Elias received the puck from Jamie Langenbrunner and slid it down low to Brylin, who had two whacks before jamming it past DiPietro.
Chris Simon and Mark Fraser took part in the third altercation of the game. It was an uneven match as Simon pummeled the rookie defenseman with thunderous blows late in the second period.
The third period was scoreless as the Islanders couldn't get one of their ten shots by Brodeur
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Martin Brodeur: Recorded his tenth career shutout against the Islanders
2. John Madden: Scored the game-winner
3. Sergei Brylin: Added an insurance goal on the power play
4. Brian Rafalski: Was a +1 after playing nearly 29 minutes
5. Arron Asham: Set the tone by taking on Janssen early in the game
Stat of the Game: The Devils blocked 21 shots compared to 12 by the Islanders
NYI 365 Fans of the Game: Jeff Tambllini paid Sean Coveney a visit following the morning skate. Sean was at the skate with his father Kevin and his friend Kevin Williams. Sean and his friend were sporting their Islanders jerseys, which were covered in autographs. Kevin's favorite player is Blake because he "skates fast," while Sean is a fan of Ricky. Sean has been to nearly every game this season as a ticket-holder, while Kevin has accompanied him to many games.
Slapshots: In each game of this series, the team that scored first won the gameÂ¦The Devils have shutout the Islanders three times this year. All three shutouts were 2-0Â¦Tonight's attendance was 15,223.
Stephen Siller Night: The Islanders presented a check of over $17,000 to the Stephen Siller Foundation's Russell Siller prior to the start of tonight's game. The final total came to over $20,000. The Stephen Siller, FDNY, "Let Us Do Good" Children's Foundation, formed in honor of firefighter, Stephen, who took his final heroic steps as he ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center to help save others. The Siller Foundation is known for restoring hope to the New York area, post 9/11, and once again is reaching out to continue that legacy. The money raised will benefit the Pediatric Center of the NYC Firefighters Burn Center Foundation and Burn Centers Across America through the Brother for Brother Remembrance.
"It's a celebration of Stephen's life tonight," said Russell, Stephen's brother. "So many firemen and policemen are here to take part in this event. I can't say enough about the Islanders. I've been in this town 35 years, and it seems like the Islanders have reached out to the community even more in the past few years." Hundreds of volunteers chipped in to sell tickets to tonight's game that supported the Siller Foundation. Assemblyman Bob Barra and Dr. Jess Poplarski won a luxury suite to tonight's game after selling the most tickets
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
32 Brendan Witt - 44 Freddy Meyer
14 Chris Campoli - 6 Sean Hill
3 Tom Poti - 49 Drew Fata
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
30 Martin Brodeur
40 Scott Clemmensen
2 David Hale -
21 Brad Lukowich - 28 Brian Rafalski
29 Johnny Oduya - 7 Paul Martin
26 Patrik Elias - 23 Scott Gomez - 18 Sergei Brylin
9 Zach Parise - 19 Travis Zajac - 15 Jamie Langenbrunner
20 Jay Pandolfo - 11 John Madden - 10 Erik Rasmussen
17 Michael Rupp - 12 Jim Dowd - 25 Cam Janssen