Brendan Witt, Josef Vasicek, Viktor Kozlov and Alexander Ovechkin
The Islanders out-shot the Washington Capitals 31-12, but could only muster one goal as the Capitals held onto a 2-1 victory, Monday afternoon at the Nassau Coliseum on Kids Opening Day. Olaf Kolzig made 30 saves to preserve the victory in front of an excited sold out crowd of 16,234 – the second in a row.
"Sometimes the shots aren't indicative of the play," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We really only had five or six good chances. The effort was there, but we had a couple of costly turnovers that went in."
Viktor Kozlov and Brooks Laich scored the two Washington goals, while Richard Park tallied the lone goal for the Islanders. Washington went 0 for 6 on the power play and the Islanders failed to convert on their four chances, including 1:34 of a 5-on-3 advantage in the second period.
"We have to take better shots on the power play, and not just shoot to shoot," said captain Bill Guerin. "We have to keep it simple, get pucks to the net and play off rebounds."
The Islanders earned their first 1-0 lead of the season off a Richard Park goal at 6:30 of the first period. Sean Bergenheim started the play by hitting Michael Nylander and stealing the puck before passing it down low to Darryl Bootland, who found Park in the slot for a one-timer.
Viktor Kozlov tied the game at one at 7:58 of the second period off a slapshot from the slot.
Washington took a 2-1 lead when Brooks Laich picked up a loose puck in the slot and buried it into the empty side at 7:58 of the third period.
The Islanders pressed in the closing minutes, but Kolzig stood tall to earn the Capitals' third straight victory.
On Wednesday, the Rangers come to town in the first of four meetings between the cross-river rivals at the Nassau Coliseum.
Check out the Game Day tab on Islanders TV for complete coverage of today's game against the Capitals.
Five Stars of the Game: 1. Olaf Kolzig: Has allowed only one goal in two games this season 2. Brooks Laich: Scored the go-ahead goal off a turnover 3. Brendan Witt: Once again, sacrificed the body better than anyone, six blocked shots 4. Viktor Kozlov: Used his wicked shot to tie the game 5. Richard Park: The gritty center got the Islanders on the board first
Stat of the Game: The Islanders out-shot Washington 17-3 in the second period
Loudville Fan of the Game:Tom from Levittown has sat in the new Loudville student section for both home games. "It's been really exciting the first two games," said Tom. "It's really loud up there and it's fun to be around people my age." Tom sported a 1997 Islander hat which had a few dozen pins attached. He's been collecting the pins since his first game in 1995.
Slapshots: The Islanders have out-shot their opponents two out of the three games...Sean Bergenheim saw some time on the Miroslav Satan-Josef Vasicek line...Radek Martinek led the team with five hits.
Game Operations: Today was all about the kids. Everything from player introductions to goal announcements to the National Anthem were all performed by kids...For the second game in a row, the Islanders pulled off a classy move by un-rolling an American Flag that spanned almost the entire ice surface, during the singing of the National Anthem, sung by the Long Island Chorus Festival Youth Choir. The Suffolk PAL Hockey League took part in the flag un-rolling...The Wiggles kicked off the game with a video board announcement...Sparky rappelled down from the rafters and was greeted by his mascot friends, which included Blades (Boston), Stormy (Carolina), Gnash (Nashville), Thrash (Atlanta), Iceburgh (Pittsburgh), Stinger (Columbus), Storm (Bridgeport), Quacker Jack and Patrick Star from SpongeBob Square Pants. Appearing during the second period were Tom Kenny and Carolyn Lawrence, who do the voiceovers in the SpongeBob show...Kyle Lander won the Kids Rule Opening Day contest on newyorkislanders.com and introduced the players, along with being interviewed by Chris King and Steve Mears. He also high-fived the players before the game and went into the locker room at the end of the game. "It was a really cool day," said Kyle. "The best part was high-fiving the players."
Islanders Children's Foundation Lends a Hand: Chris Dey, Islanders Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Operations - on behalf of the Islanders Children's Foundation - presented Mitchell White of the Suffolk PAL Hockey Team with a check for $5,000 to help in the financing of the team's new arena.
Reporters for a day: Christopher Palagye, Evan Weinstein and Annie Lang of West Islip School District were today's Newsday Kids Day reporters. Their articles about today's game will be featured in an upcoming edition of Newsday. "It was a great experience for the kids," said Lori Smith, their 5th grade teacher. "This is something they'll remember for a while."
26 Ruslan Fedotenko – 89 Mike Comrie – 13 Bill Guerin
15 Jeff Tambellini – 63 Josef Vasicek – 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert – 18 Mike Sillinger – 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim – 10 Richard Park – 27 Darryl Bootland
1 Brent Johnson
37 Olie Kolzig
3 Tom Poti - 52 Mike Green
26 Shaone Morrisonn - 23 Milan Jurcina
4 John Erskine - 2 Brian Pothier
18 Matt Pettinger - 15 Boyd Gordon - 17 Chris Clark
19 Nicklas Backstrom - 92 Michael Nylander - 10 Matt Bradley
8 Alex Ovechkin - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 43 Tomas Fleischmann
87 Donald Brashear - 39 David Steckel - 21 Brooks Laich
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of today’s matchup against the Capitals.
1 - 0 NYI
1 - 1 Tie