The Islanders did it the hard way, but they finally came through with only 3.7 seconds left in the overtime period for a 4-3 overtime winner, Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum. With under a minute remaining in the extra session, the Islanders earned a power play when Mike Comrie was tripped by Andy Greene in the defensive zone.
With time winding down, the Islanders set up one last play. Chris Campoli threw a shot from the point and Comrie jammed at the rebound, but it was Bill Guerin, who found the loose puck and stuffed into the empty side to erupt the Coliseum crowd that was packed for Firefighter Appreciation Night.
Comrie and Guerin leapt into each other's arms as the fans banged on the glass in support of their team, which raised its record to 5-3-0 on the season. Rick DiPietro made 25 saves for his fifth victory of the season. Miroslav Satan's line with Josef Vasicek and Sean Bergenheim chipped in with two goals, while Campoli had a strong game on the blueline, flying around the ice, while keeping steady game in the defensive zone.
Asked if Comrie's shot on the final play was actually a pass, Guerin laughed and said: "He might tell you it's a pass. I don't really know what he was thinking, but I think he was just trying to put it in front of the net and have exactly what happened, happen."
The Islanders rebounded for the second game in a row after giving up another two-goal third period lead.
"We give our team a lot of credit; we didn't fold or feel sorry for ourselves," said head coach Ted Nolan. "We played out the rest of the period, and then found a way in overtime."
Special teams favored the Islanders, who won the game on a power play tally, and successfully killed off all four Devils power plays. The Islanders finished the game 2-for-5 on the man-advantage.
"Special teams have been the difference lately," said Nolan. "Penalty killing has been really good. John Chabot has done tremendous work with our penalty killers. We have a strong unit of guys who have been effective."
The Islanders took a 3-1 lead into the third period, but the Devils fought back to tie the game up with less than eight minutes to play, sending the game into overtime.
"You don't like to give away two-goal leads in the third period," said DiPietro, "but to have the perseverance to keep our composure and continue to play hard was a positive."
The Devils scored the first goal of the game when Zach Parise capitalized off of an Islanders turnover and scored 55 seconds into the first period.
Josef Vasicek used his long reach to make it a 1-1 game. At 3:31 of the second period, Miroslav Satan's shot kicked over to Vasicek, who stepped out of the corner and wristed a shot inside the far post past Kevin Weekes, who made 28 saves in the loss.
The Islanders grabbed a 2-1 advantage just over two minutes later. After some nifty one-touch passing between Radek Martinek and Bergenheim, Satan picked up the puck in the offensive zone. The slick Slovak skated around defenseman John Oduya before sliding the puck around Weekes for a superb individual effort.
"Satan's line had a strong game," said Nolan. "Jo's really coming into his own. It was great to see Satan score his first goal. He had great presence out there on his goal. Bergenheim has been playing well on that line also."
The Islanders scored their third goal of the period off of a scramble in front, while on the power play. Bruno Gervais' initial shot from the point was deflected off of the post, but Comrie banged home the loose puck with 7:57 left in the second period.
New Jersey cut the lead to 3-2, when Jay Pandolfo's shot was deflected over DiPietro at 2:22 of the third period.
Brian Gionta tied the game at three with 7:49 to play in the third when he tipped Paul Martin's shot out of midair past DiPietro.
The Islanders next play a week from tonight at the Nassau Coliseum against the Carolina Hurricanes on Law Enforcement Appreciation Night.
Five Stars of the Game 1. Bill Guerin: Another clutch performance from the captain 2. Miroslav Satan: Played his strongest game of the year, scoring a goal and adding an assist 3. Brian Gionta: Great hand-eye coordination on his goal 4. Chris Campoli: Jumping into the play responsibly, setup the final goal 5. Josef Vasicek: Another strong game from the power forward, used his size well
Stat of the Game: The Islanders have allowed only one power play goal against in their past three games.
Kickbutt Loudville Fan of the Game: Michael from Long Island and Caitlin from Albany attend SUNY Cortland together. Being from Long Island, Michael is not surprisingly a big Islanders fan, but he's trying to get Caitlin on board as well.
Slapshots: Tonight's attendance was 14,024...Bryan Berard left the game in the second period with a groin injury and will be re-evaluated…The Islanders have scored at least one power play goal in five of their first eight games…Ted Nolan stuck with the same line combinations as last game.
Game Operations: The 1st Annual Islanders and Q104.3 Chili Cookoff winner was Rich Ambro from Wading River, NY. He won two free round-trip tickets to anywhere in the Continental United States, provided by American Airlines and a trophy from Sparky during the first period…Tonight was the first of three collectible themed hat giveaways. In honor of Firefighter Appreciation Night, red hats were distributed to the first 10,000 fans, courtesy of Winthrop University Hospital…Kim Redel, an EMT worker in Great Neck sang tonight's National Anthem…The Brentwood Marching Band, known as The Wanderers played a medley of songs, including The Beatles' Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da…Tonight's Color Guard was represented by the East Meadow and Plainview Fire Departments…Nathan's this day in Islanders History showed Bryan Trottier's jersey being retired in 2001…In honor of Hockey Fights Cancer Month, all of the Islanders coaches, broadcasters and employees donned pink ties and shirts…The Ice Girls were dressed to impress tonight, wearing stylish firefighter jackets.
11 Andy Hilbert – 18 Mike Sillinger – 13 Bill Guerin
20 Sean Bergenheim – 63 Josef Vasicek – 81 Miroslav Satan
26 Ruslan Fedotenko – 89 Mike Comrie – 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon – 10 Richard Park – 2 Aaron Johnson
Goaltenders 1 Kevin Weekes
30 Martin Brodeur
29 John Oduya - 7 Paul Martin
2 Vitaly Vishnevski - 27 Mike Mottau
6 Andy Greene - 28 Karel Rachunek
26 Patrik Elias - 19 Travis Zajac - 14 Brian Gionta
16 Dainius Zubrus - 9 Zach Parise - 22 Arron Asham
20 Jay Pandolfo - 11 John Madden - 23 David Clarkson
17 Mike Rupp - 10 Rod Pelley - 18 Sergei Brylin
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight's game.
To purchase tickets for the Islanders' next game, Saturday, Oct. 27 vs. Carolina, click here.
HALLOWEEN FUN PACK ON SALE NOW!
Saturday, Oct. 27 vs Carolina: 4 tickets for just $99
Halloween is almost here, and the Islanders want to celebrate the ghostly holiday with you, your friends and family on Saturday, October 27 at 7 pm against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Islanders have cooked up the perfect potion to bring the whole family for just $99. The Halloween Fun Pack includes 4 tickets to the game, 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas. If you are among the first 10,000 fans to arrive at the Coliseum on Saturday - also Law Enforcement Appreciation Night - you will also receive a collectible blue Islanders hat courtesy of Fox Sports New York.
This frightening deal is valued at $225, but for Saturday's game it's priced at just $99. So bring your friends and family!
To purchase a Halloween Fun Pack, please call 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 2.