Blue 6, White 5

Moulson scores twice in regulation and once in the shootout, leading the Blue Team in preseason tune-up

Wednesday, 01.16.2013 / 10:24 PM ET / News
By Travis Betts
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Blue 6, White 5
Moulson scores twice in regulation and once in the shootout, leading the Blue Team in preseason tune-up
Matt Moulson scored three total goals for the Blue Team in the Islanders lone tune-up before Saturday's season opener at home against the New Jersey Devils (Photo: Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

Michael Grabner’s goal in the seventh round of the shootout propelled the Blue Team to a 6-5 victory over the White Team in the Islanders intra-squad scrimmage Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum. Matt Moulson scored twice in regulation and once in the shootout for the Blue Team in the Islanders lone tune-up before Saturday night’s season opener.

The teams went into the shootout with the White Team leading 5-3. Frans Nielsen scored in the first round for the Blue Team and Moulson found the back of the net in the fifth round to knot the score 5-5 and send the breakaway competition into sudden death. Grabner finished the contest in the seventh round with a forehand past White Team goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Blue Team goaltender Rick DiPietro stood his ground through all seven rounds, not allowing a single shootout goal.

The Blue Team consisted mostly of players currently in Islanders Training Camp, while the White Team was composed primarily of Bridgeport Sound Tigers, as well as junior players Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano was impressed by the preparedness of the White Team, whose players have taken part in regular season games since September.

“I thought they played hard,” Capuano said. “You can tell they’ve been skating since September and that’s good for our team, because with a shortened training camp, the battle levels aren’t there, but tonight, our guys played hard.”

Moulson put the Blue Team on the board 5:40 into the opening frame. DiPietro, who started the game for the White Team and switched sides midway through the second period, stopped Mark Streit’s initial point shot, but after a scramble in front, Moulson powered the puck home, giving the Blue Team a 1-0 lead.

The White Team evened the score three minutes later courtesy of Nino Niederreiter. He skated down the right wing and went around a defender before switching to his forehand. Nabokov, playing for the Blue Team in the first half, made one save, but the winger’s second shot made it through. Ryan Strome and Dallas Jackson earned the assists. Later in the period, Aaron Ness fired a shot from the point on the power play that beat Nabokov top-shelf, putting the White Team up 2-1.

Moulson’s second tally of the contest early in the second period tied the game at 2-2. Tavares dropped a pass back to Streit, whose shot was tipped past DiPietro 47 seconds into the frame.

“That was a great play by Mark,” Moulson said. “He always has his head up, so my job is pretty easy – get to the net and put my stick on the ice.”

Kyle Okposo gave the Blue Team the lead three minutes later on the power play. Matt Martin’s shot from the left circle hit a defender and slowed down on its way to the net. Okposo picked up the loose change right in front and lit the lamp.

The goaltenders switched sides 10:27 into the second period. DiPietro tended the net for the Blue Team the rest of the evening, while Nabokov played for the White Team.

The White Team rattled off the next three goals before the end of regulation. Late in the second period, Jack Combs fed a saucer pass from the left side wall to Johan Sundstrom for a breakaway in the slot. The center utilized the time and space and put his shot top-shelf. With seven seconds remaining in the period, Scott Campbell gave the White Team a 4-3 lead. The forward deflected a Griffin Reinhart slap shot originating from the right half-wall.

Jack Combs boosted the White Team’s lead to 5-3 in the third period, deflecting a Ty Wishart point shot past Nabokov.

After the game, Tavares said that the Blue Team players were conditioned well, despite the long layoff for many of them.

“We felt more comfortable as it went on, so it was good to have a scrimmage and play with that kind of intensity,” he said. “My lungs felt pretty good. The legs were a little bit heavy the first few shifts, but I started to get into a rhythm. There’s still a lot of adjusting to do.”

The Islanders open the regular season Saturday, Jan. 19, when they take on the New Jersey Devils at Nassau Coliseum. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

PHOTO GALLERY

Blue Team
Forwards
26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 24 Brad Boyes
41 David Ullstrom - 53 Casey Cizikas - 13 Colin McDonald
17 Matt Martin - 16 Marty Reasoner - 36 Eric Boulton

Defensemen
2 Mark Streit - 4 Radek Martinek
47 Andrew MacDonald - 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey - 7 Matt Carkner
52 Joe Finley - 43 Jon Landry

White Team
Forwards
22 Nino Niederreiter - 29 Brock Nelson - 10 Ryan Strome
42 Brandon DeFazio - 28 Johan Sundstrom - 16 Sean Backman
40 Mike Halmo - 4 Scott Campbell - 20 Blair Riley
44 Brett Gallant - 18 Chad Costello - 5 Jack Combs

Defensemen
46 Matt Donovan - 6 Ty Wishart
27 Aaron Ness - 8 Nathan McIver
72 Griffin Reinhart - 2 Dallas Jackson

Evgeni Nabokov started in goal for the white team. Rick DiPietro started for the Blue Team. The two switched sides midway through the game. Sound Tigers goaltenders Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson were on the bench.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 6 2 4 3 6
J. Bailey 6 2 3 2 5
N. Leddy 6 0 5 1 5
R. Strome 6 2 1 1 3
K. Okposo 6 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 6 2 1 2 3
B. Nelson 5 2 0 1 2
N. Kulemin 6 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
J. Boychuk 6 0 2 1 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 3 1 .926 2.34
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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