DP records third shutout of the season in Isles' sixth straight win
Rick DiPietro recorded his third shutout of the season and 14th of his career, Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum as the Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 for their sixth straight win.
"We're starting to get the bounces," said head coach Ted Nolan. "The harder we're working, the luckier we're getting. Before we weren't working and we weren't getting the breaks. Right now things are going well and we have to find a way to keep it going."
The Islanders are on their longest winning streak of the season, and they're doing it without the services of Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt, Bruno Gervais and Andy Sutton. Instead, players like Freddy Meyer, Radek Martinek, Aaron Johnson and Drew Fata have stepped up brilliantly.
Nolan was asked if he was surprised with the team's success considering all of the injuries. His reply: "It doesn't surprise me because when people work and do the simple things, you'll have an opportunity. It doesn't matter about the skill level sometimes, it matters about the will. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night. I'm not surprised because of the way we're concentrating on all the small details."
With both teams noticeably tired from their games the previous night, the Islanders only needed Miroslav Satan's 14th goal of the season early in the third period to secure the victory.
"Both teams realized that after playing last night, no one had fresh legs," admitted Satan. "The teams were cautious not to take too many risks. Overall, it was a patient game. We are very happy with the two points."
DiPietro did the rest from there, thwarting all 32 shots he faced, including 14 in the third period. The Islanders benefited from a late penalty call on Shane O'Brien to keep the Lightning from much pressure in the closing minutes.
"It seems whenever people try to write us off, we find a way to win," said DiPietro. "It's something we talked about in the room since last year. We're working hard recently and we're getting results because of it."
The game was tied after two periods of play, with few scoring opportunities on either side.
Satan finally broke through to excite the Coliseum crowd, which was waiting to erupt. The right wing streaked into the offensive zone and to the middle of the ice. He let go a quick wrist shot, which eluded goaltender Kari Ramo, who made 28 saves, at 5:37 of the third period.
The Islanders return to the ice on Saturday and visit the Devils in Newark.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Rick DiPietro: Allowed two or fewer goals in three straight games
2. Miroslav Satan: Tallied his fourth game-winner of the season
3. Radek Martinek: After shutting down Ovechkin last night, stopped the Lecavalier-St. Louis-Prospal line
4. Kari Ramo: Kept the Lightning in the game to the end
5. Drew Fata: Recorded his first NHL assist of the season, 15:35 TOI
Stat of the Game: Freddy Meyer filled in magnificently again on the top defensive pairing with Radek Martinek, playing 23:42, including 5:32 while shorthanded and dishing out 3 hits
Slapshots: The Islanders are on their first six-game win streak since Dec. 21 to Dec. 31, 2003…Bruno Gervais (Oblique) and Andy Sutton (Hamstring) were tonight's scratches...The Islanders are 20-7-7 in one-goal games. That is the most wins in one-goal games by any team in the NHL…Rick DiPietro is 3-0-0 with two shutouts against the Lightning this season…Chris Simon returned to the lineup...Tonight's attendance was 12,382.
Game Operations: It was Molloy College Night at the Nassau Coliseum…The Molloy College Choir sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem… Molloy College President Mr. Bogner presented Molloy alum Dan Murphy with a plaque for outstanding leadership in business...Tricia said yes to Jay, who proposed during the second period…Bethpage Federal Credit Union is donating $5 to the Islanders Children's Foundation for every check the Islanders throw. The total is over $5,700 to date …Wang Jun, the V.P. of the Chinese Olympic Committee was a special guest tonight of Islanders owner Charles Wang…Tonight's Junior Ice Girl was 12-year old Vida Weisblum from Oyster Bay skated to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."
Kickbutt Fans of the Game: Brian and Katie from Commack were really excited to be at tonight's game. When asked who their favorite Islanders were, they replied: "We like all of them."
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight’s game.
39 Rick DiPietro
34 Wade Dubielewicz
44 Freddy Meyer - 24 Radek Martinek
49 Drew Fata - 2 Aaron Johnson
4 Bryan Berard - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
11 Andy Hilbert - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 63 Josef Vasicek – 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon – 51 Frans Nielsen – 57 Blake Comeau
20 Sean Bergenheim – 10 Richard Park – 81 Miroslav Satan
31 Kari Ramo
40 Johan Holmqvist
55 Shane O'Brien - 71 Filip Kuba
54 Paul Ranger- 22 Dan Boyle
3 Doug Janik - 39 Mike Lundin
20 Vaclav Prospal - 4 Vincent Lecavalier - 26 Martin St. Louis
19 Brad Richards - 7 Michel Ouellet - 17 Jan Hlavac
21 Mathieu Darche - 16 Jason Ward - 24 Andreas Karlsson
74 Nick Tarnasky - 77 Chris Gratton - 29 Craig MacDonald
Additional Reporting by Chris Musto and Andrew Scharff
Zebras Care Program: Prior to tonight’s game, the Islanders were a part of the NHL Officials Association new charity, Zebra’s Care. The program was designed to bring joy to children across North America and to grow the game of hockey by having children meet members of the NHL Officials Association prior to the game. Tonight, the Islanders invited two “Bigs and Littles” from the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island down to the game to come meet the officials. Kai Stoll and his Big Brother Barry Baretla, as well as Quiana Ferguson and her Big Sister Anna Peroutka were greeted by a team representative who provided each of them with a gift bag filled with tons of great Islanders gear. They were then brought down to the officials’ locker room where they met tonight’s referees Kerry Fraser and Ian Walsh as well as linesmen Michel Cormier and Derek Nansen. After chatting hockey for a little while with the refs, the group was then brought on a tour of the Coliseum and locker room as well as high-five the players on their way onto the ice. As an added bonus, Kai Stoll, a senior in high school looking to go to college to study communications, got a first hand experience about the field as he chatted with Islanders color commentator Billy Jaffe in the elevator. “This was tons of fun,” said Anna Peroutka. After the meet and greet was over, the group was then brought to their seats where they all cheered for their favorite team as they faced off against the Tampa Bay Lighting.
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