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Mighty Matts led the way

Power forward Matt Martin plays disciplined game to draw two critical power plays and score his fourth goal of season, Matt Moulson recorded three points

Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 4:39 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Mighty Matts led the way
A 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum was just the way the Islanders wanted to ring in the New Year.

On the day the team honored Ken Morrow, by inducting him into the Islanders Hall of Fame, Matt Moulson played in his 200th consecutive game as an Islander and John Tavares scored his 150th point.

Ales Hemsky tries to move the puck around Matt Martin and Travis Hamonic at Nassau Coliseum on December 31, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The team's well rounded play is what Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said was a key to the win.

“We talked about a total team effort and the way that we have to play,” Capuano said. “We did that tonight. Everyone contributed.”

However, it was the play of Islanders power forward Matt Martin that propelled the Islanders to their second consecutive win. He tallied the team’s fourth goal at 4:05 of the second, but also drew both penalties on Ben Eager which led to the Islanders power plays and ultimately to their timely goals. His play earned Martin the third star of the game.

“I thought Matty Martin did a good job, showing the discipline that he showed,” Capuano said. “If you go back and look at those power play goals, he had a lot to do with them and he got rewarded himself by getting the puck to the net.”

Martin was extremely disciplined, despite being antagonized by Eager throughout the game.

“Eager was out there trying to do his job and he wanted to fight, but I guess I don’t really care what he wants,” Martin said. “I’m out here to help our team win and I’ll do whatever it takes to help our team win. So that’s what I needed to do at the time.”

Prior to Eager’s second visit to the penalty box, he dropped his stick and gloves to the ice and grabbed Martin looking for a fight, but the Islanders power forward kept his arms down, chirped a little bit, but never bit and threw a punch.

“Maybe I should have protected myself a little bit more, but I was still well aware,” Martin said. “He was grabbing my arms. If he would have threw a punch, I would have protected myself, but I play physical and I try to get under the other teams’ skin. It worked tonight and I have to continue to do that. It will create more power plays for us, which builds momentum.”

Matt Martin scores at 4:05 of the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at Nassau Coliseum on December 31, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Islanders power play was rocking. Despite going up against the Oilers penalty kill, which ranks ninth in the league, Tavares (3:44 of the first) and Parenteau (3:19 of the second) both scored with the man advantage. Possibly a testament to how hard they’ve worked to perfect special teams and find the back of the net.

“The power play did a great job tonight, putting the puck in the net,” Martin said. “There are not too many better feelings when you draw a penalty like that and the power play goes right out there and pots one. It’s important. Power plays are probably one of the most important parts of the game these days. They did a good job tonight.”

Moulson closed out the first period with an even strength tally after Tavares connected with him at 17:55. The goal put the Islanders ahead 2-1, and could have been 3-1, after an earlier play was deemed no goal due to a “distinct kicking motion” on the ice and there wasn’t enough evidence to support the contrary in the video review.

In the second period, Parenteau’s power play goal would follow suit. But that was then followed by Martin’s fourth goal of the season for which he made a drop pass to Josh Bailey entering the offensive zone, which the two players grinded out in the corner for Martin to shoot from the lower end of the circle and beat Devan Dubnyk far side.

“It definitely felt good to finally put another one in,” Martin said. “I’ve been held off the sheet for a little while, but it’s great playing with Grabs (Michael Grabner) and Bails (Bailey). They’re two offensive guys. I can go in there and be physical and create some havoc, just throw the puck on net. Sometimes they go in.”

It’s more games like these that the Isles will need to earn more wins heading into 2012.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
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