A large number of Islanders fans traveled from Long Island to cheer on their Islanders as they defeated the host New Jersey Devils 3-1, Wednesday night at the Prudential Center.
With Islanders fans countering the Devils cheers with chants of "DP," Rick DiPietro put on his second show-stopping performance of the season at "The Rock." In his first two appearances at the Devils' new arena in Newark, DiPietro has turned aside 63 of 64 shots, including 37 tonight.
"The reason we won tonight was because of the guy between our goal posts," said head coach Ted Nolan. "I thought he was really good tonight. He made some big saves, especially when the score was 2-1. Ricky is going to the All-Star for the first time and you can see him coming of age. He's taken another step this season and he wants to prove that it's not a one-shot type of deal, but that he's an All-Star."
DiPietro out-dueled fellow Eastern Conference All-Star, Martin Brodeur, who made 20 saves in the losing effort. DiPietro is a perfect 4-0-0 against New Jersey this season.
"You find that if you play long enough, there are certain teams that you play well against," said DiPietro. "The last couple of years it's been the Devils."
The Islanders took a 2-0 lead on goals by Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger, before New Jersey got one back in the third period. Guerin would add an empty-netter for his second of the game and team-leading 17th goal of the season.
Following the Devils' equalizer, DiPietro withstood a barrage of shots, 16 in all in the third period to preserve his 19th win of the season. The best chance came with just under two minutes, when DiPietro made a marvelous save on Dainius Zubrus with the glove.
"That was a highlight reel save for sure," said Nolan.
The Islanders capitalized on a five-on-three man-advantage and successfully thwarted all five New Jersey power plays.
"Usually our penalty killers have done a good job, but our number one penalty killer – Ricky – had one of his better games tonight," said Ted. "You also have to give credit to Freddy Meyer, Gervais and the whole defense core for stepping up after losing Witt, Martinek and now Campoli."
Chris Campoli left the game in the first period with a shoulder injury and did not return, leaving the Islanders with five defensemen for the remainder of the game. He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow.
Guerin put the Islanders up 1-0 with Colin White and Mike Mottau both in the penalty box with 4:51 to play in the opening frame. With time winding down on the full two minute, two man-advantage, Miroslav Satan slipped a pass down low to Mike Comrie. The pivot threw a cross-ice feed to Guerin, who one-timed the puck past Brodeur.
Sillinger gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead, 4:17 into the second period. Fedotenko and Trent Hunter converted a give-and-go before finding Sillinger all alone in front of Brodeur for a slam dunk play.
DiPietro kept it a 2-0 game by robbing Patrik Elias, who had all day to shoot from the slot. DiPietro snared Eilas' shot with a whip of the glove late in the second period.
Travis Zajac made it interesting by cutting the Islanders' lead to 2-1 at 7:11 of the third period. Zajac deflected Brian Gionta's slap shot, which trickled near the goal line before DiPietro inadvertently pushed it over the line.
After fending off furious pressure from New Jersey, Guerin salted the game away by blocking a shot from the point and then racing ahead to put one into the empty net with under a minute to go to play.
"Tonight Ricky saved us a couple of times," said Guerin. "I thought we played a solid game, but when they turned it up and got some scoring opportunities, Ricky was there. He probably saved at least four goals. He's been doing it all season for us."
Five Stars of the Game: 1. Rick DiPietro: Stole the game with some mind-boggling saves, nearly unbeatable at the Devils' new den 2. Bill Guerin: The captain wielded his magic again with his ninth goal in 13 games 3. Mike Sillinger: Another brilliant two-way performance, one goal and 79% of faceoffs won 4. Travis Zajac: Got the Devils on the board 5. Andy Sutton: Picked up the slack after Campoli left the game, led the team with over 26 minutes of ice time.
Stat of the Game: Andy Sutton stepped up in a big way – literally – blocking six shots to lead the Islanders
Slapshots: Rick DiPietro's shutout streak at the Prudential Center ended at 1:47:11…The Islanders have won six consecutive games against the Devils dating back to last season…The Islanders improved to 15-0-0 when leading after two periods.
Hunts wears the "A": Trent Hunter wore an "A" in place of the injured Brendan Witt for the third game in a row. When asked why he chose Hunter to be an alternate captain, Ted Nolan replied, "He's a leader on the ice and in the room. If Guerin were out, you could even see him where the "C."
Guerin still remembered in NJ: Islanders captain Bill Guerin spent seven seasons with the New Jersey Devils, and won a Stanley Cup with them in 1995. After Guerin's first goal, there was a good ovation from the Devils fans.
Islanders Fans Represent: You can't say it enough, but the Islanders fans in attendance represented well. After all three Islanders goals, a loud roar from a particular area in the arena resonated throughout the spacious arena.
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight’s game.
44 Freddy Meyer – 8 Bruno Gervais
25 Andy Sutton – 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
14 Chris Campoli – 4 Bryan Berard
28 Tim Jackman – 11 Andy Hilbert – 57 Blake Comeau
10 Richard Park – 89 Mike Comrie – 13 Bill Guerin
26 Ruslan Fedotenko – 18 Mike Sillinger – 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim– 63 Josef Vasicek – 81 Miroslav Satan
Goaltenders 30 Martin Brodeur
1 Kevin Weekes
5 Colin White - 27 Mike Mottau
2 Vitaly Vishnevski - 6 Andy Greene
29 Johnny Oduya - 7 Paul Martin
16 Dainius Zubrus – 26 Patrik Elias – 14 Brian Gionta
9 Zach Parise - 19 Travis Zajac - 15 Jamie Langenbrunner
22 Arron Asham - 18 Sergei Brylin – 23 David Clarkson
17 Mike Rupp – 10 Rod Pelley – 24 Barry Tallackson
TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD NIGHT Set for January 19, Town of Hempstead night is presented by The Herald and Covanta; Proceeds of ticket sales to January 19 contest against Philadelphia to support March of Dimes; Town residents receive up to 40% off tickets - with prices starting at $16
The New York Islanders are pleased to announce Town of Hempstead Night, presented by The Herald and Covanta, on Saturday, January 19 when the Islanders play host to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Residents of the Town of Hempstead receive up to 40% off tickets, with prices starting at just $16. January 19 is a night dedicated to honoring the Town of Hempstead, but also a night for all Islanders fans.
The Islanders will donate a portion of the proceeds to the game's ticket sales to the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birth weight.
The Islanders and The Interfaith Nutrition Network will be hosting a coat drive before the Islanders take on the Flyers. Make sure to bring down a coat that will be donated to someone less fortunate. Representatives will be located on the concourse taking your donations.
Don't miss another exciting game at the Nassau Coliseum, when the Islanders honor the Town of Hempstead.
To purchase special discounted Town of Hempstead Night tickets, please call 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 3, e-mail the group sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org or bring your proof of residency to the Nassau Coliseum Box Office.
LONG ISLAND HOCKEY FEST
Celebrate hockey’s youth with a visit to the Nassau Coliseum when the Islanders play host the Carolina Hurricanes at 2 pm on Monday, January 21. Along with catching a great game, come see two youth hockey teams from China perform during the intermission. The teams, long with a team from Finland and dozens of other youth teams on Long Island will be in the middle of their week-long Lighthouse Tournament.
MEET THE COACH An IBC and NYI365 special event featuring a Chalk Talk from Ted Nolan and his staff
The Islanders Business Club and NYI365 have brought their members closer to the team than ever before.
That trend will continue on Wednesday, January 30, when the Islanders invite IBC members and NYI365 season ticketholders to an intimate sit-down with Islanders head coach Ted Nolan at Doolin's Pub from 9:15-10:30 am.
While enjoying a special breakfast in Doolin's, located in the lower lobby of the Nassau Coliseum, guests will have the opportunity to listen to Ted, as well as assistant coaches Gerard Gallant and John Chabot, talk about the state of the Islanders and what to expect as the Islanders make a final playoff push. Those in attendance will also be given the opportunity to ask the coaches questions at the conclusion of the talk.
But the event doesn't end there. Following the talk, guests are invited to enter the arena and watch the Islanders practice, which begins at noon. Every member at the event will also receive a Ted Nolan photo.
To purchase a $25 ticket to this event, please e-mail Catie Bennett at Catie.Bennett@newyorkislanders.com. Space is limited to the first 125 people, so order your tickets today to ensure a spot at this exclusive event.
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