The Islanders' special teams came alive, scoring four power play goals and shutting down 1:08 of 5-on-3 Toronto Maple Leafs power play time in the third period to help lead the team to a 5-4 win over the Leafs, Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Four power play goals were the most by the Islanders this season. Two came from Ruslan Fedotenko and one each from Bryan Berard and Mike Comrie. The Islanders power play went 4 for 7.
"We have to have a sense of urgency," said head coach Ted Nolan. "Our power play was huge. The last four or fives games, we're starting to play the way we're capable of playing. The last few games we've been competing, which is all we can control."
It was the work of Andy Sutton, Richard Park, Freddy Meyer and Aaron Johnson that kept it a 4-3 game late in the third period when Berard and Radek Martinek were called for consecutive penalties.
Meyer's empty net goal proved to be the game-winner after Nik Antropov scored the Leafs' fourth goal of the game with time winding down.
"Special teams are huge," said Meyer. It gives a team a lot of momentum. We had to battle to the end. This past week we've turned the corner. We're working hard. This is a tough place to play, so it's good walking out with two points."
After killing the 5-on-3 power play off, the Islanders had to kill off one final penalty, finishing the game 4-for-5 while a man down. The Islanders defense core held down the fort, playing without injured Brendan Witt and Bruno Gervais.
"Our PK has done a great job all season," said Nolan. "We didn't have three of our top defensemen in and the guys stepped up. Sutton played one of his best games, while Johnson and Berard stepped into key situations. Freddy's done a terrific job for us. He worked himself into a two year contract. He's been a reliable defenseman."
Berard produced the game's first goal. Bill Guerin threw a cross-crease pass to Berard, who deflected the puck with his skate by goaltender Vesa Toskala at 3:48 of the first, while on the power play.
Toronto took a 2-1 lead on two goals in the span of 1:30 in the second period. First Darcy Tucker was credited with a goal at 7:51 when Matt Stajan's shot ricocheted off of his skate. Then Mats Sundin pounced on a rebound for his 24th goal of the season.
With 5:24 left in the second period, Fedotenko tied the game at two on the power play. Johnson spun around and passed to Josef Vasicek, who whipped a shot off the post. The puck dropped down in the crease right to Fedotenko, who slapped it over the line.
Comrie scored the Islanders' third power play goal with 2:35 left in the second period. Comrie transitioned a 3-on-1 for the Islanders and laid a pass across to Miroslav Satan. Waiting until almost behind the goal line, Satan threw the puck back across to Comrie, who had his one-timer just trickle over the line for a 3-2 Islanders lead.
The Islanders scored their fourth power play goal of the game, 4:29 into the third period. Berard's shot from the point was saved by Toskala, but Fedotenko slammed home his second man-advantage tally of the game.
After killing off a series of Leafs power plays, Meyer made it 5-3 on an empty net goal. Antropov cut the lead to 5-4 with just over 18 seconds remaining in the game, but time ran out on the Leafs.
The Islanders return home to face the Atlanta Thrashers Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Ruslan Fedotenko: Played in front of the net all night and was rewarded with two goals 2. Andy Sutton: Filled in magnificently with Brendan Witt absent, 23:57 TOI, primarily against the Sundin line 3. Bryan Berard: One of his best offensive games of the season, 1 goal, 2 assists all on the PP 4. Matt Stajan: A goal and an assist for Stajan, who has 2 goals and 5 assists in 3 games against the Islanders 5. Freddy Meyer: A horse on defense, especially during penalty kills, first goal of the season
Stat of the Game: The last time the Islanders scored four power play goals was on April 8, 2006 against Washington.
Slapshots: Aaron Johnson recorded his first point of the season...Ruslan Fedotenko recorded his first two-goal game as an Islander...Brendan Witt (MCL) and Bruno Gervais (oblique) were tonight's scratches.
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight’s game.
11 Andy Hilbert - 89 Mike Comrie - 13 Bill Guerin
26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 63 Josef Vasicek – 7 Trent Hunter
15 Jeff Tambellini – 51 Frans Nielsen – 57 Blake Comeau
20 Sean Bergenheim – 10 Richard Park – 81 Miroslav Satan
Goaltenders 35 Vesa Toskala
1 Andrew Raycroft
25 Hal Gill - 8 Carlo Colaiacovo
15 Tomas Kaberle - 31 Pavel Kubina
36 Anton Stralman - 24 Bryan McCabe
23 Alexei Ponikarovsky - 13 Mats Sundin - 80 Nik Antropov
16 Darcy Tucker - 14 Matthew Stajan - 55 Jason Blake
19 Dominic Moore - 10 Alex Steen - 22 Boyd Devereaux
52 Robbie Earl - 18 Chad Kilger - 11 Jiri Tlusty
SUPPORT THE LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT
Informational Table at Gate 13 Spreads the Word About the Lighthouse Project
Islanders fans looking to learn more about the Lighthouse at Long Island - the transformation of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum property – can show their support by visiting the project's informational table at all Islanders home games.
Renderings of all the proposed facilities for the 150-acre site and members of the Lighthouse team will be there to help answer questions. Fans can also sign up to obtain more information on the Lighthouse.
"Getting the Islanders fans involved and informed is a very important element in making this project successful," said Islanders owner and Co-Founder of the Lighthouse Development Group, Charles B. Wang. "For the most part, these are Long Islanders who care not only about their favorite hockey team, but share the vision of a destination at the Coliseum site for the better of the community."
More than 3,000 fans have come to talk with Lighthouse staff in the six games the information tables have been on the concourse.
"It's been a great opportunity to reintroduce our revised Master Plan to the Islanders fans," said Matthew Frank, Managing Director of the Lighthouse Development Group. "Being at the Coliseum has enabled us to get people updated on where we are in the process of making this landmark project a reality. It provides a special opportunity to hear what people in the community are concerned about."
Through the rest of the Islanders home schedule, the Lighthouse Development Group will be at the Coliseum talking with and listening to hockey fans about the Lighthouse at Long Island.
Stop by the Lighthouse display on the concourse, sign up to get more information and be part of the success of the most important development project on Long Island in 60 years!
About the Lighthouse Development Group, LLC.
Lighthouse Development Group, LLC, a joint venture between Charles Wang, the Founder of the Lighthouse project and owner of the New York Islanders and New York Dragons, and RexCorp Realty, LLC., Long Island's largest owner, manager and developer of commercial real estate, has been designated the exclusive developer of the Coliseum site and has entered into a Development Plan Agreement with the County of Nassau. The partnership combines Charles Wang's vision for the revitalization of the aging Coliseum property with RexCorp's renowned expertise.
The Lighthouse project is the transformation of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site and surrounding area into a modern 24/7 suburban center. The centerpiece will be a revitalized arena for the New York Islanders and New York Dragons, surrounded by exciting residential neighborhoods, lifestyle retail and entertainment venues, a sports technology center, multi-purpose athletic complex, state-of-the-art conference and exhibition facilities, a baseball stadium, and the first 5-star hotel on Long Island. The estimated $2 billion project is expected to generate almost $60 million of annual real estate tax revenue. An expected 17,000 construction jobs, thousands of permanent jobs and many new businesses will be created. Overall, the Lighthouse project will add more than $200 million of incremental revenue over the next 25 years to the County and the State from the renovation of the Coliseum alone and keep the New York Islanders on Long Island for decades to come.
NYI Host 2nd Siller Foundation Night Fans can help local burn centers and win a Coliseum luxury suite
Honor fallen firefighter and hero Stephen Siller and support the New York, Nassau, and Suffolk Firefighters Burn Center Foundations by purchasing tickets, starting at just $20, to the Islanders-Atlanta Thrashers game at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, February 16 at 7 pm.
On one of the most tragic days in history, men and women sacrificed their lives to come to the rescue of those in mortal danger. That is why the Islanders are proud to support The Stephen Siller Foundation, formed in honor of firefighter, Stephen, who took his final heroic steps as he ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center to help save others.
The Stephen Siller Foundation is known for restoring hope to the New York area, post 9/11, and once again is reaching out to continue that legacy. This foundation is best known for “The Tunnel-to-Towers Run” that takes place the last Sunday in September. The sole purpose of the Stephen Siller Foundation is to honor the legacy of love given to the Siller family through Stephen. They do this by paying tribute to his heroic life and death, his 342 FDNY brothers, and all those who lost on 9/11, through the annual Tunnel-to-Towers Run. The Stephen Siller Foundation supports the Pediatric Unit of the NYC Firefighter Burn Center and burn centers throughout the nation. They strive to help children who have lost one or both parents through local community awards and contribution to organizations with a like mission, including children of Firefighters, Policemen, EMS, and Military who lost a parent in the line of duty. For the 2nd year, the Islanders have teamed with the Foundation to raise money for your local Firefighters Burn Centers. This is where Islanders fans can help.
For the Islanders game against the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, February 16th, we’re asking you, the fans, to buy tickets through the Foundation to help raise funds for your local Burn Center. All net proceeds will be donated to the New York, Nassau, and Suffolk Burn Center Foundations.
The first 10,000 fans will receive a mini Rick DiPietro bobblehead courtesy of GEICO.
Special seats have been reserved for the February 16th game, so don’t miss out on this great night!
The person that purchases the most tickets to this event, by February 15th, will receive their very own luxury box that seats 12, to be used the night of the event.
So please join the New York Islanders team in continuing the legacy of Stephen Siller, and all who fought for our freedom on 9/11.
KID'S DAY, TOO SET FOR FEB. 18
NYI vs. San Jose; Family Fun Packs for just $124, Post-Game On-Ice Shootout!!! Meet the players!!! All fans 14 & under will receive a Puck Bank, courtesy of New York Community Bank!!! Mascots from around the NHL!!! NYI Family Fan Fest and so much more!!!
If you missed the Kids' Opening Day on October 8th, don't worry fans, the Islanders have given everybody a second chance with Kids' Day, Too when Rick DiPietro and the Islanders host the San Jose Sharks at 2 pm on Presidents' Day, Monday, February 18.
FAMILY FUN PACK: With school off, there is no better way to spend a day with the whole family than taking in an exciting Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders have put together a special Family Fun Pack for Kids' Day, Too to get you and three others to the game. The Family Fun Pack includes:
1 Dave & Buster's $40 Power Card Voucher
1 Friendly's $25 Gift Card
Valued at $265, the Family Fun Pack can be purchased for just $124.
Here are some more reasons why you should get to the game on February 18th to cheer on your favorite hockey team.
POST-GAME ON-ICE SHOOTOUT WITH THE PLAYERS: The Islanders want to make Kids' Day, Too as exciting as possible for the kids. Following the game, all kids are invited down to ice level to take a shot on the same nets defended by Rick DiPietro. There will also be special guest appearances by the Islanders players.
MASCOTS GALORE: While we all know that the Islanders' Sparky the Dragon is the greatest mascot in pro sports, he's making Kids' Day, Too even more memorable by bringing a bunch of his friends from around the NHL and the area. Here's a list of the other mascots that will be roaming the Coliseum all game, looking for the most excited fans.
Storm – Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Mr. Met - NY Mets
Stinger – Columbus Blue Jackets
Blades - Boston Bruins
Stormy – Carolina Hurricanes
Gnash – Nashville Predators
Thrash – Atlanta Thrashers
ThunderBug- Tampa Bay Lightning
Fin - Vancouver Canucks
Iceburgh- Pittsburgh Penguins
Kate and Willie - Hofstra
QuackerJack - LI Ducks
NYI FAMILY FUN FEST STARTS AT NOON!: Arrive at the Coliseum early and join us in the lower lobby for the Family Fan Fest, featuring fun inflatables, face painting, kids broadcasting station, interactive games and so much more.
FREE PUCK BANK: All kids 14 and under in attendance will receive Islanders Puck Bank, courtesy of New York Community Bank.
Make Presidents' Day a memorable experience for the whole family by attending an Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum.