The injury-depleted Islanders continue to find ways to win. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Islanders found a way to climb back, force overtime and win on Mike Comrie's shootout tally. The 3-2 win over Washington on Wednesday night gave the Islanders a season-long five game winning streak.
The work of Radek Martinek on Alex Ovechkin was heroic. The NHL's leading goal scorer was held to no points and one shot.
"It wasn't easy," said Martinek, when asked how he stopped Ovechkin. "I had to compete with him very hard. He's so strong and fast. He's a smart player and you can't really beat him. I had to keep my feet moving against him."
While Martinek went toe-to-toe with Ovechkin all night, the work of the other five defensemen could not go unnoticed. Freddy Meyer, Bryan Berard, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Aaron Johnson and recent call-up Drew Fata all played significant minutes and helped to hold Washington to two goals.
Without Brendan Witt, Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais and most recently Andy Sutton in the lineup, the Islanders defense and Rick DiPietro shut down the Capitals offense for the final two-plus periods. DiPietro earned his 24th win of the season in brilliant fashion, stopping 32 shots, including three in the shootout.
"You knew right from the get-go that Ricky was into this game," said head coach Ted Nolan. "He made some outstanding saves for us. To get 2 points is really big for us. A great mind once said, the harder you work, the luckier you get. We've been working hard the last few games."
Miroslav Satan and Josef Vasicek scored in regulation for the Islanders, who have picked up points in six straight games, to get within one point of seventh and eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
"We weren't happy with the first period," said Satan. "We played a little better in the second and in the third. Our focus was better. We were making better plays and spending time in their zone."
A Russian, not named Ovechkin, gave Washington a 1-0 lead. Alexander Semin received a pass from Matt Pettinger and raced in on a breakaway. Semin roofed a backhand shot at 2:17 of the opening period.
Brooks Laich directed Mike Green's shot from the point, while on the power play for a 2-0 Capitals lead with 6:23 gone by in the first period.
Satan cut the lead to 2-1 at 9:37 of the second period. Bill Guerin missed on the initial semi-breakaway, but had the presence of mind to regain the puck and put it in front for Satan's backhander.
"I thought Billy would score, but he still kept control of it," said Satan. "Everything seemed to stop and then he found me."
The "Grind Line" of Trent Hunter, Vasicek and Fedotenko got the game tied at two. Hunter's slap shot caromed off the back boards and landed right on Vasicek's stick. Vasicek threw the puck from behind the net and it banked off Olaf Kolzig's arm and into the net with 8:51 left in the third period.
Ovechkin threatened in overtime, but Martinek, DiPietro and the goal posts were up to the task.
In the shootout, DiPietro stopped Viktor Kozlov, Ovechkin and Semin before Comrie snuck a backhand through Kolzig's legs.
The Islanders will go for six straight wins tomorrow night at the Nassau Coliseum when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Radek Martinek: A +1, over 28:00 TOI and kept Ovechkin off the board 2. Rick DiPietro: Stopped 15 shots in the third period and overtime, plus 3 in the shootout 3. Alexander Semin: Explosive all night, scored on a breakaway in the first, but not when it mattered most 4. Mike Comrie: A slick move for the winner, on a tear since given an "A", +1 5. Freddy Meyer: The other half of the defense-combo that stopped Ovechkin, 27:49 TOI Honorable Mention. Bill Guerin: Set-up the first goal, stood up for his teammates
Stat of the Game: Alex Ovechkin had ten shots blocked or miss.
Slapshots: The Islanders are 3-2 in shootouts this season…Bruno Gervais (Oblique), Brendan Witt (MCL) and Andy Sutton (Hamstring) were tonight's scratches…Chris Simon is eligible to return to tomorrow's game at the Nassau Coliseum versus the Tampa Bay Lightning
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
37 Olie Kolzig
1 Brent Johnson
3 Tom Poti - 23 Milan Jurcina
4 John Erskine - 55 Jeff Schultz
26 Shaone Morrisonn - 52 Mike Green
8 Alex Ovechkin - 19 Nicklas Backstrom - 43 Tomas Fleischmann
18 Matt Pettinger - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 28 Alexander Semin
87 Donald Brashear - 15 Boyd Gordon - 21 Brooks Laich
53 Quintin Laing - 39 David Steckel - 10 Matt Bradley
BLOG BOX PROFILE: The 7th Woman Meet Dee Karl of the NYI Blog Box
This season the Islanders introduced the NYI Blog Box and it's taken the sports blogging world by storm. Now it's time for the fans to start to meet the Blog Boxers.
First you met Tom Liodice of The Tiger Track. Now meet Dee Karl, the 7th Woman.
How long have you been blogging: My Bravenet Journal was started for me in 2005 by the administrator of the NYIslandersCountry message board because my posts were small novels. My blogs can also be found on Blogspot.com and NHLConnect.com. (There's just no escaping me.)
What's the blog about? The Islanders organization as a whole: From the front office to the on ice product, as well as the efforts of the NHL in marketing their product.
What is your favorite part of the NYI Blog Box? Although the access to what's happening behind the scenes is an amazing opportunity, I think my favorite part is the friendship of so many talented individuals this opportunity has offered me. We can work as a team or as individuals to bring the current fans closer to the Islanders, or attempt to develop new fans with our diverse writing styles. It's been nothing but a wonderful experience that I am truly grateful for.
Where do you see blogging in five years? I recently read a book on the culture of "blogging" that was very interesting. I think that the entire idea of blogging will become homogenized into main stream information dissemination. Currently there is almost no difference between blogging and regularly scheduled columns by writers. Perhaps the only exception is the amount of proofreading. But the time, effort and research that goes into a "blog" article is equivalent to that which is featured in print. Blogs tend to reach a wider audience because they are shared more and seem to have an indefinite lifespan.
What's one thing you would change in hockey? At this point, I would like to see the NHL and the NHLPA agree on mandating visors. They can agree on a grandfather clause, but the time has come to make safety the bigger issue.
Who is your all-time favorite Islander and why? Ray Ferraro. He was the one player who brought the game to life for me, and no one was more clutch than Ray. I never worried when the Islanders were down by two with nine minutes left in the third. He had a grace and elegance on the ice that made me believe there was always a chance to win.
Family Fun Packs added for Islanders-Tampa on Thursday night: call 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 2
If you missed out on the Islanders' thrilling 3-2 win over San Jose before a jam-packed Coliseum crowd on Monday afternoon, the Islanders are offering families a second chance to get a great deal on tickets during Presidents' Week.
And if you were with us on Monday, we know you want to come back!
Family Fun Packs are on sale NOW to see Rick DiPietro, Bill Guerin and the Islanders take on Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lacavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
Call 1.800.882.ISLES ext. 2 or visit the Nassau Veterans Memorial Colisuem box office to get your Family Fun Pack, which includes four tickets to Thursday night's game and four Islanders hats.
The Islanders have won five in a row and are playing some of their most exciting hockey of the season. If the two last two home games are any indication, you won't want to miss the game on Thursday night. Order your Family Fun Packs NOW while they last!
Isles vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 7PM
Family Fan Pack includes:
4 Islanders Hats
Only $128 ($300 Value)!
Ticket packs are going fast and are available while supplies last.
Call 1.800.882.ISLES, Ext. 2 or visit the Nassau Coliseum Box Office today!
LOUDVILLE IS OPEN TOMORROW!
High School and College students get to the Nassau Coliseum with the best deal in professional sports. For only $10, catch the Islanders go for their sixth straight win, when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
LOUDVILLE tickets go on sale 60 minutes before game time. There are a limited number of seats available per game, so arrive early to secure a seat. Remember to bring your Student ID! There is a limit of one $10 LOUDVILLE ticket per ID. Once you get to the LOUDVILLE section, do your part to help lead the crowd in giving the Islanders the best home-ice advantage in the NHL!
Purchase your Islanders 5 Star Pack NOW!!!
All inclusive food and beverage – including alcohol – in the Bohemian Lounge
Games vs. the Rangers, Flyers and Devils
Opportunity to get up close and personal with the Stanley Cup
Opportunity to skate on Coliseum ice after the 3/29 game
Plan starts on Saturday, March 1 vs. the Flyers (Fan Appreciation Night)
To buy your 5-Star Plan, call 1.800.882.ISLES or click here
1 - 0 WSH
2 - 0 WSH
2 - 1 WSH
2 - 2 Tie
Delaying Game-Puck over glass