ISLANDERS 3, OILERS 1
The Islanders headed into the final portion of their stint in Saskatchewan on forward John Tavares
’ birthday and by the end of the night, he had his first point and partaken in the first NHL victory of his career. Radek Martinek
, Josh Bailey
and Matt Moulson netted goals for the Islanders as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 3-1.
In a manner similar to the Calgary Flames game the night before, the Islanders made their presence felt on the scoreboard around the ten-minute mark of the first period. Radek Martinek
was fed a pass from Jeff Tambellini in the high slot. The Islander defenseman made a quick fake dropping Oiler goalie, Devan Dubnyk to the ice and ripped a shot over the Edmonton net-minder’s shoulder for the 1-0 lead. Brendan Witt also tallied an assist on the play for his first point on the preseason.
Bailey doubled the Islanders’ lead to 2-0, recording his first pre-season NHL goal of the season with 6:57 remaining in the opening frame. The goal came off of a quick rebound from an initial Blake Comeau
shot that Bailey backhanded past Dubnyk. Tambellini contributed with the second assist on the play, his second of the night.
Going on the power-play after two Oilers tripping penalties with 13:04 left in the second period, the Islanders began to run away on the scoreboard, upping their lead to 3-0. Moulson redirected a Tavares pass from the near corner past Dubnyk. Mark Streit
had the second assist on the play, his first point of the NHL pre-season. Edmonton countered, quickly knotting a goal in response to keep the game close at 3-1 with 6:14 remaining in the middle frame.
Biron held the Oilers off the scoreboard in the third, to earn his first win in an Islanders jersey.
“It’s nice to get a win tonight, heading home, so it was a great week and I learned a lot from this camp,” Tavares said. “I knew my opportunities were going to come. Obviously it’s nice when you start to produce some offense and contribute that way.”
Head coach Scott Gordon was impressed with Biron’s solid play between the pipes. “Solid. He obviously had some hard rebounds and he was there and came up big,” Gordon said.
The Islanders will travel to Kansas City tomorrow morning to prepare for their next preseason game on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings.
1. Martin Biron – held the Oilers at bay, allowing only one goal on 24 shots
2. Jeff Tambellini – gets on the score sheet with two assists
3. John Tavares
– nets his first NHL assist and point
Honorable Mention: Matt Moulson - Forward scores his team leading third goal of the preseason
Blowing Out the Candles:
After sitting out last night’s game against Calgary, John Tavares
finally got to showcase his immense talent on an evening that marked the Islanders forward’s nineteenth birthday. The 2009 first overall NHL draft pick tallied his first point in an Islanders jersey as well as the NHL pre-season, in what was a memorable evening and the beginning of a prominent career. Tavares’ assist came on an impressive tip from Matt Moulson that fooled Oiler goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
2:46 into the first period, the 12, 842 fans at Credit Union Centre were heard when Islander forward Joel Rechlicz and Oiler winger Steve MacIntyre dropped the gloves. The spectacle lasted upwards of two minutes and the two breathless brawlers had to be torn apart by officials after exhaustion eventually set in.
Islanders forward Doug Weight handed out medals and congratulated several local Saskatoon bantam teams as well as teams from the Ontario area during the first intermission. The young teams could be seen grinning from ear to ear as they were recognized by a future Hall of Famer.
15 Jeff Tambellini – 12 Josh Bailey
– 57 Blake Comeau
26 Matt Moulson – 91 John Tavares
– 77 Trevor Smith
81 Justin DiBenedetto
– 62 Greg Mauldin
10 Richard Park
67 Sean Bentivoglio – 50 Tomas Marcinko
– 40 Joel Rechlicz
2 Mark Streit
– 3 Calvin de Haan
24 Radek Martinek
– 32 Brendan Witt
49 Jyri Niemi – 47 Andrew MacDonald
43 Martin Biron
33 Scott Munroe
14 Justin Eberle – 91 Mike Comrie - 19 Patrick O’Sullivan
34 Fernando Pisani – 32 Ryan Stone – 67 Gilbert Brule
78 Marc-Antoine Pouliot – 16 Ryan Potulny – 22 Jean-Francois Jacques
33 Steve MacIntyre – 64 Milan Kytnar – 46 Zack Stortini
8 Dean Arsene – 37 Denis Grebeshkov
24 Steve Staios – 41 Taylor Chorney
43 Jason Strudwick – 71 Lubomir Visnovsky
40 Devan Dubnyk
38 Jeff Deslauriers