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Islanders fan Flames

The Isles defeat Calgary 3-1 at Nassau Coliseum; goals from Andrew MacDonald, John Tavares and Brian Rolston propel win

Thursday, 12.29.2011 / 10:58 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Islanders fan Flames
The Islanders looked to create change heading into Thursday night’s game at Nassau Coliseum. Two days of tough practice and new line combinations appears to have set the tone. The Islanders surged to a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames with their own spark.

“We played with a lot of passion tonight and commitment to our game,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “We were rewarded for it… It was a game where we really established what we try to do with our identity is get pucks deep, work back behind the goal line and I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”

Though Capuano credited his entire team for the win, who worked hard through 60 minutes, a highlight-reel goal from center John Tavares lifted the Islanders to their first win in four games.

“Ninety-one (Tavares) tonight was real strong; it was a highlight goal that he got," Capuano said. "He hasn’t score of late, but his chances are there. Tonight, he took advantage. I thought he played real well, but I also think a lot of guys deserve a lot of credit in that room.”

Tavares’ game-winning goal was definitely worth a second look.

“Kyle (Okposo) made a great play on the wall and I was coming underneath with speed in our own end,” Tavares said. “I knew we had an odd-man rush and I just felt, I think it was Butler, anticipating a drop pass, so I buried my shoulder and made a hard move to the back post and was able to beat him and (Mikka) Kiprusoff before they were able to get to that far post.”

But more than two-thirds of the game had been played before Tavares notched his goal at 3:20 of the third period, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead.

Former Islanders forward Tim Jackman scored on the Flames first shot of the game at 1:11 of the opening period, putting Calgary ahead 1-0. But the Islanders refused to allow an early deficit to get them down. Instead, the Islanders rallied for the win.

“We had a tough practice Monday after a few disappointing games,” Tavares said. “To be able to come out like that after a lot of sustained zone time in their end to start the game off really helped. We did a much better job of finishing pucks and getting pucks deep when we needed to.”

Andrew MacDonald’s shot through the slot tied the score at 3:04 of the second period. Brian Rolston notched the insurance goal on the empty net for the final margin with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.

“We needed a big response and a big game,” Tavares said. “Even though it was only 3-1, I thought we had a lot of chances. We did some really great things and came out hungry. Everyone was competing hard, working hard.”

He continued, “Even the mistakes we had, we really made an effort to get back, get ourselves back in position and not make it easy for them. It’s something we have to build off of and understand that’s what it’s going to take to win a lot more games.”

Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov had another solid performance between the pipes; he made 29 saves in his fourth consecutive start.

“He’s a huge part of this hockey club,” Tavares said. “He’s an experienced guy that’s been through a lot in his career and really knows how to handle any kind of situation in any game. He’s definitely a stabilizer for us. Sometimes mistakes are going to happen and bounces aren’t going to go your way so you need that big save and he’s been doing that for us all year. It’s huge.”

The Islanders are now 4-2-4 against Western Conference opponents this season and will face teams from out West in four of their next five games. The Islanders next opponent is the Edmonton Oilers, who they’ll play in a Saturday matinee at Nassau Coliseum before heading onto the road for the next three games.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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