Last night was the first step in pulling to even with the Alberta residents of the NHL. The Islanders defeated the Calgary Flames 4-2 in the back end of a home-and-home preseason series last night at the Credit Union Centre. Jon Sim was chosen as the game’s first star while Dwayne Roloson posted a shutout through the opening 30 minutes of play in his first action of the preseason. Islander prospect Matt Martin contributed with two goals and Greg Moore tallied the game-winner late in the third period. The win gave the Islanders their first win of the preseason making their record 1-2-1 through four games in Western Canada.
Last night in Vancouver, BC, the Oilers were beaten for the first time this preseason by the Canucks, 3-1. Alex Edler opened the scoring in the opening stanza, blasting a slap-shot through Edmonton starter, Jeff Deslauriers. The Islanders saw the zip Oiler defenseman, Sheldon Souray has on his shot on Wednesday as the 6’4, 233 pound bruiser shattered two panes of glass. Last night, Vancouver net-minder Roberto Luongo paid witness to Souray’s punishing shot, as he could not turn aside the Oiler assistant captain’s wrist shot, tying the score with only 7 seconds remaining. The teams would go scoreless in the second period but it was Darcy Hordichuk’s goal 10:45 into the third period that was the eventual game-winner for the Canucks. Cody Hodgson would seal the victory for Vancouver with an empty-net goal to win the game for the Canucks, 3-1.
MC Return: This time last season, Mike Comrie was skating for the Islanders at the team’s Training Camp facility in Moncton, NB. Comrie was traded to Ottawa last season and has since found his way back to where he started his career, with the Edmonton Oilers. Comrie played in his first preseason game with Edmonton on Friday against the Florida Panthers and assisted on each of the Oilers’ goals in their 4-0 victory.
Battling Backups: The Oilers just about guaranteed who their starting goaltender was when they signed Nikolai Khabibulin during the offseason to a multiyear deal. The position that they do not have locked up however is who will backup the former Stanley Cup Champion. Tonight, goalies Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk will battle for the spot as both are scheduled to dress. Dubnyk started the last game between the two teams on Wednesday.
Fathers Watching Down: Last night, Islander alum Bobby Nystrom looked down at the Credit Union Centre ice, routing for his son Eric in their game against the Islanders. Tonight, Edmonton General Manager Steve Tambellini will make an appearance in Saskatoon for the Oilers game against the Islanders, where he will pull for his team but hold a heavy heart for number 15 in the orange and blue.
Return to ‘Toon Town: Jyri Niemi who has been at the center of the Saskatoon media this week after playing for the local team the past two years will see much of the attention pass his dressing room and go down the hallway. Milan Kytnar, a forward from Topolcany, Slovakia will dress for Edmonton after spending the entire 2008-09 season with the Saskatoon Blades scoring 64 points (27 goals and 37 assists) in 65 games.