Sillinger cashes in on an overtime power play to catapult Islanders to victory at the St. Pete Times Forum
After seeing two third-period leads vanish, the Islanders used a power play goal in overtime by Mike Sillinger to capture a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Saturday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. Rick DiPietro was stellar in goal, stopping 32 shots for his 13th win of the season.
Bill Guerin and Andy Hilbert also scored for the Islanders, who finished the three-game road trip through the Sun Belt 1-1-1. The Islanders were out-shot 34-33 but led where it counted. Brad Richards scored two third-period power play goals for the Lightning.
"The guys dug down and stuck to it tonight," said head coach Ted Nolan. "People have been questioning us, but we have faith in our group. It was good to see Billy Guerin and Andy Hilbert score and get a power play goal. And what can you say about Ricky, he was sensational. The way we played was a testament to the team and the leadership we have."
Andy Sutton got things started on the physical side early in the game when he absolutely leveled Doug Janik cleanly with a combined shoulder-hip check. While skating down the right wing side with his head down, Janik met a gliding Sutton, who smoothly drove him into the boards.
"I can step up like that because of the way our forwards backcheck," said Sutton. "I just tried to line him up and get my big butt in his way. I connected this time."
The Islanders grabbed the lead in the second period when Guerin snapped a 16-game goal-less streak by sending a floater past Johan Holmqvist. Following an offensive draw won by Mike Comrie, Guerin flung the puck towards the net, but was deflected by forward Jan Hlavac. The puck soared in the air and landed just over Holmqvist and into the net at 7:51 of the second period.
"It felt great getting that goal," said Guerin. "Every goal is a good goal even if it goes over five guys and lands in. Comrie made a nice play on the faceoff."
The Lightning evened the score at one, 3:51 into the third period on the power play. Richards' "hope" shot from the point eluded a screened DiPietro.
The Islanders then regained the lead at 9:15 of the third period. Trent Hunter stole the puck from Janik behind the Lightning net and fed Hilbert, who fired a shot past Holmqvist.
Tampa Bay once again tied the game on a slapshot by Richards' 5-on-3 power play goal with 6:21 remaining in the third period.
On the game-winner, Sillinger and Chris Campoli played catch before Sillinger ripped a wrist shot through Holmqvist with only 28 seconds left in the overtime period. The Islanders were on their second power play of the period.
"I told Campy we have to control the puck," said Sillinger, regarding his conversation with Campoli before the goal was scored. "I told him we need to create a 2-on-1 and that last time we took a shot too soon. It feels good that we won. If we can win in Buffalo, we can make it a real successful road trip."
The Islanders have three days before getting back to the road. They take on the Buffalo Sabres at the HSBC Arena on Wednesday night.
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight's game.
Five Stars of the Game 1. Rick DiPietro: Spectacular in goal, no goals allowed at even strength 2. Brad Richards: Two power play goals 3. Mike Sillinger: Clutch scoring from a team leader, +2 4 Andy Sutton: Physical all game, 2 hits, 3 blocked shots 5. Andy Hilbert: Quick release on the goal Honorable Mention: Bill Guerin – Got things started with a fluke goal
Slapshots: Ruslan Fedotenko is day-to-day with a shoulder injury he sustained against Florida on Friday...Freddy Meyer skated in his first game the Islanders this season, registering 4:46 TOI…The Islanders went 1 for 8 on the power play and Tampa Bay was 2 for 7…Tonight concluded the second year that fathers and mentors of the players and the training staff accompanied their sons on a road trip. Over the two years, the Islanders are 3-2-2 with their fathers and mentors in attendance.
15 Jeff Tambellini– 89 Mike Comrie – 13 Bill Guerin
20 Sean Bergenheim– 63 Josef Vasicek – 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert – 18 Mike Sillinger – 7 Trent Hunter
12 Chris Simon – 10 Richard Park
Goaltenders 40 Johan Holmqvist
30 Marc Denis
54 Paul Ranger - 71 Filip Kuba
55 Shane O'Brien - 39 Mike Lundin
37 Brad Lukowich - 3 Doug Janik
20 Vaclav Prospal - 4 Vincent Lecavalier - 26 Martin St. Louis
17 Jan Hlavac - 19 Brad Richards - 21 Matheiu Darche
74 Nick Tarnasky - 77 Chris Gratton - 16 Jason Ward
36 Andre Roy - 24 Andreas Karlsson - 7 Michel Ouellet