In front of the Nassau Coliseum's eighth sellout crowd of 16,234 this season, the home team did not disappoint. The Islanders shut down the Atlanta Thrashers out-scoring them 4-1 and out-shooting them 49-10. Just 30 games into the home schedule, the Islanders have surpassed their six sellouts from last season.
When asked what was more impressive, taking 49 shots or holding Atlanta to ten shots, Ted Nolan replied: "The ten shots against. When you play a team like Atlanta that has Hossa and Kovalchuk, to hold them to less than two goals would be a great feat. But to hold them to ten shots was a great team effort. This was probably one of the best complete efforts we've had since we've been here."
Despite missing Brendan Witt, Bruno Gervais and Chris Campoli, the Islanders held the explosive Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa to a combined three shots and the entire Thrashers team to just ten shots. That was the lowest total an opposing team has ever recorded against the Islanders in franchise history.
"When you play a game like this, you go into each period and say do the same thing," continued Nolan. "It was one of those games where everyone contributed and everyone helped out. It's nice to win a game when everyone is involved."
Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Sean Bergenheim scored for the Islanders, who have now won three games in a row to get themselves within three points of the coveted eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders have averaged 3.8 goals per game over the past five contests (3-1-1).
Bergeron's power play goal put the Islanders up 3-0 and gave all fans in attendance an opportunity to pick up a free bowl of chili at any Long Island Wendy's.
Richard Park and Satan teamed to make it a 1-0 Islanders lead. Park spun around Bobby Holik in the corner before throwing the puck back in front to Satan. With Kari Lehtonen moving away from the puck, Satan had a wide open net to fire the puck into, with 5:08 left in the first period.
The Islanders out-shot Atlanta 20-4 in the first period, but held a slim 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Islanders went up 2-0 with a strong second-effort by Fedotenko. After attempting a backhand wrap-around, Fedotenko grabbed his own rebound and lofted it over Lehtonen. Josef Vasicek and Trent Hunter assisted on Fedotenko's goal at 1:30 of the second period.
"You can out-shoot a team badly, but with their snipers they can put in five or six goals with very few shots," said Nolan. "Only having a 1-0 lead with that many shots made Fedotenko's goal an important one. He's really turned his game around the last couple of weeks. So has a lot of our players."
While skating 5-on-3 the Islanders earned everyone in attendance a free bowl of chili at Wendy's. With 7:57 remaining in the, Bergeron ripped a slapshot from the point past Lehtonen for a 3-0 advantage.
The Islanders' newest promotion gives fans an opportunity to get a free bowl of chili at Wendy's the day after the Islanders score three or more goals. All fans have to do is go to a Long Island Wendy's tomorrow and say "I want my free chili. Let's go Islanders!"
At 7:50 of the third period, Bergenheim padded the Islanders lead to 4-0. Freddy Meyer fought for the puck behind Atlanta's net and threw it in front to Bergenheim, who made a few moves before scoring his seventh goal of the season.
"I'm not changing my game at all," said Bergenheim," who scored his third goal in four game. "Just my chances are starting to go in. As you start to score more you start to feel more comfortable. That's the biggest difference."
The game got ugly in the third period when Atlanta defenseman Garnett Exelby speared and punched Blake Comeau. Exelby received a combined 17 minutes in penalties and was given a game misconduct.
"I was trying to get back in the play and didn't expect the spear from behind," said Comeau. "When he dropped his glove, I didn't see his punch coming. They were obviously a little frustrated, but I guess that's how the game goes."
Rick DiPietro lost his shutout bid when Todd White scored on the power play with just over a minute remaining in the game.
The Islanders return to the Nassau Coliseum ice to face the San Jose Sharks, Monday at 2 pm.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Ruslan Fedotenko: Continues to the light the lamp, posting his fourth goal in three games 2. Miroslav Satan: Scored a goal on three shots, +2 3. Andy Sutton: A horse on defense along with Martinek, shutting down Kovalchuk 4. Sean Bergenheim: His hustle is relentless, padded his team-leading plus-minus rating, goal 5. Freddy Meyer: Threw down four big hits, +2, 21:30 TOI, assist
Stat of the Game: The shot differential of 39 shots was an Islanders franchise record.
Slapshots: The Islanders tied a season-high by taking 20 shots in the opening period…Rick DiPietro broke Chris Osgood's record of assists/points in a season with five. DiPietro tied Billy Smith for career assists by a goaltender with 12…The Islanders held Atlanta to an opposing team-low two shots in the second period…The line of Blake Comeau, Frans Nielsen and Jeff Tambellini drew four power plays.
Kickbutt Fans of the Game: The Levy family has been season ticketholders for two seasons. As a perk of being an NYI365 member, the family came to the Islanders' morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum. Son, Cory, sports an orange wig like his father, who wears a similar one to the game.
Game Operations: The first "Wendy's Chili Chant" promotion was a huge success. Marc-Andre Bergeron scored the Islanders' third goal at 7:53 of the second period to get everyone a free bowl of chili…Junior Ice girl from Islanders Iceworks Laurel Mallardi skated a beautiful rendition during the second period …Prior to the start of the game, the Islanders donated a check for $6,700 to Russ Siller for the Stephen Siller Foundation. The money will go to the Nassau & Suffolk County Firefighter Burn Centers.
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 32 Kari Lehtonen
1 Johan Hedberg
17 Ilya Kovalchuk – 12 Todd White – 8 Mark Recchi
13 Slava Kozlov - 11 Eric Perrin – 18 Marian Hossa
29 Brad Larsen – 27 Chris Thorburn - 36 Eric Boulton
16 Bobby Holik – 23 Jim Slater – 9 Pascal Dupuis
Additional reporting by Andrew Scharff
NYLI HONDA ROAD TRIP EXPERIENCE
Since the start of the 2007-2008 Islanders season, fans have been invited to enter the “NYLI Honda Road Trip Experience” at www.newyorkislanders.com. This online contest allowed one (1) lucky fan the chance to win a trip for four (4) to an Islanders road game. The trip includes round-trip airfare aboard the Islanders team charter flight, hotel accommodations at the team hotel and four (4) tickets to the road game. After several months and over 1,500 entries, the winner of the 2007-2008 “NYLI Honda Road Trip Experience” is…Ryan Tendrup of Miller Place NY.
Tendrup, 20 years old, has been an Islanders fan ever since he can remember. “I went to my first game when I was about 8. I remember I used to go to a lot of the Isles-Devils games. They were my favorite.” Ryan is extremely excited about joining the team to Washington for the February 20th game against the Capitals and greatly appreciates the opportunity NYLI Honda and the New York Islanders have provided. “I think it’s a great way to give something back to the loyal Islanders fans on Long Island.” Tendrup will be bringing along three of his friends, who share a love for hockey and the Islanders.
NYI vs. San Jose, Feb. 18; Family Fun Packs for just $124, Z100's Greg T the Frat Boy, SpongeBob and more mascots from around the NHL added!!! Post-Game On-Ice Shootout!!! Meet the players!!! All fans 14 & under to receive a Puck Bank, courtesy of New York Community Bank!!! NYI Family Fan Fest and so much more!!!
As the Islanders make their late season push for the playoffs, the team is revving up for one of the most exciting games of the season. In just a few days, the Islanders will be celebrating its youngest fans with Kids' Day Too, when the Islanders play host to the last Western Conference team of the season on Monday, February 18 – the San Jose Sharks.
Below are some of the reasons why you should make the Nassau Coliseum your family destination for this Presidents' Day.
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.
Z100 AND GREG T THE FRAT BOY: Greg T the Frat Boy from Z100's Elvis Duran and the "Z" Morning Zoo will be taking part in the day's festivities. Among his activities will be refereeing the mascots hockey game during the second intermission. The Z100 Party Patrol will also be at the Nassau Coliseum prior to the start of the game.
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
• Sabretooth – Buffalo Sabres
• Stanley C. Panther – Florida Panthers
• Kate and Willie - Hofstra
• QuackerJack - LI Ducks
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS WRITER TELLS ALL: If you've ever wondered how SpongeBob SquarePants goes from a piece of paper to a living being on your television screen, come down to the Coliseum on February 18. Eric Shaw, a writer for the hit animated series will take fans on the concourse through the complete creation process of the show.
NYI FAMILY FAN 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.
GUERIN'S MOTORCYCLE DISPLAY: Also at the Family Fan Fest will be Bill Guerin's motorcycle, which is being auctioned off online. To bid on the team-signed motorcycle, which includes four tickets to the March 1st Fan Appreciation game and an on-ice presentation of the bike, click here. Bidding ends at 11:59 pm on February 23.
FREE PUCK BANK: All kids 14 and under in attendance will receive an Islanders Puck Bank, courtesy of New York Community Bank.
KIDS CLUB DISCOUNT: Members and family members of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Islanders KIdz Club receive a 40% discount to Monday's matinee game against the Sharks. To redeem your discounted tickets, please contact the Group Sales department at 1 800 882 ISLES, ext. 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make Presidents' Day a memorable experience for the whole family by attending an Islanders game at the Nassau Coliseum.