Islanders put on dominating performance against the Atlantic Division leaders
In front of a sellout crowd of 16,234 at the Nassau Coliseum on Monday night, the Islanders knocked off the Atlantic Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1.
Bill Guerin tallied a goal and an assist, while Richard Park, Sean Bergenheim and Trent Hunter also scored for the Islanders, who played one of their best games in weeks. Miroslav Satan assisted on two goals, giving him three points in his last two games.
"Billy has shown some real good leadership of late," said head coach Ted Nolan. "When things are tough you want your leader to show the right things in the locker room."
The Islanders out-shot the high-flying Penguins 36-29 and Wade Dubielewicz improved to 8-7-0 on the season behind 28 saves.
"It's been tough lately, but one thing we can control is our effort and the way we perform," said Nolan. "Tonight I thought it was a good team effort. Pittsburgh really took it to us physically in the first, but it was a good sign that we answered back physically in the second. Dubielewicz had a great game and it was great to see a full house here."
Added Dubielewicz: "I gave up 15 rebounds tonight and I didn't pay for any one of them. We cleared the crease pretty well, making my job much easier."
The Islanders grabbed a 1-0 lead on Park's third shorthanded goal of the season. Kyle Okposo threw a cross-ice feed at center ice to spring Park on a semi-breakaway. Park took a slapshot that went just inside the far post at 3:22 of the first period. Matthew Spiller picked up the second assist – his first as an Islander.
Petr Sykora tied the game 36 seconds later on the same power play off a rebound.
The Islanders took it to the Penguins in the second period, out-shooting them 14-3 in the middle frame.
Guerin made it 2-1 Islanders on a wrist over the shoulder of Ty Conklin with 8:15 remaining in the second period. Just over three minutes later, Bergenheim tallied a power play marker for a 3-1 Islanders advantage.
Trent Hunter extended the Islanders' lead to 4-1 with a rebound goal with 7:19 left in the third period.
"We have a lot of new guys, but we're starting to get it," said Bergenheim. "The new guys are learning the system and it feels better out there now than it did for a while."
The Islanders face these same Penguins on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Bill Guerin: Tied Mike Comrie for the team lead in goals with 23, assist, 4 shots 2. Wade Dubielewicz: Another strong effort by Dubie against the Pens, 14 saves in the third period 3. Matthew Spiller: Tallied second NHL assist, +2, along with Martinek stopped Evgeni Malkin 4. Richard Park: Part of an energized line with Okposo and Comeau, SH goal, +1 5. Radek Martinek: Kept Malkin off the board, assist, +2
Slapshots: The Islanders are 7-3-1 during sellouts this season…Wade Dubielewicz improved to 3-0-0 against the Penguins in his career…The Islanders won by three goals or more for the first time since February 16, when they defeated Atlanta 4-1…The Islanders scored four goals for the first time since March 11 against Tampa Bay…By scoring four goals, fans can go to a Long Island Wendy's tomorrow and redeem a free bowl of chili…Mike Comrie missed tonight's game with the flu.
Fan of the Game:Tyler, Hunter, Jared and Max (Left to Right) from Melville enjoyed their day off from school by showing their Islanders spirit. They were extremely excited to see Kyle Okposo live after watching him score his first goal against New Jersey.
Congratulation Mustangs!: The Mustangs youth hockey team from the Nassau County Pee Wee House League are on their way to China to participate in the Charles B. Wang Project Hope Tournament. The Islanders put forth a fundraising effort with an unprecedented reward.
The Long Island pee wee house league team that sold the most tickets to tonight's Islanders-Penguins game earned an all-expenses paid invitation to the Project Hope tournament, courtesy of the Islanders Children's Foundation. The players and their families sold an astonishing 3,936 tickets.
"The boys are extremely excited to go," said Mark Lamarr, Nassau County Hockey Director. "The kids and parents set out to accomplish a goal, which they ultimately achieved. They went above and beyond and the response was overwhelming. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids to play hockey over in China."
Game Operations: Tonight's Junior Ice Girl was Dana Galagno from Oyster Bay. The nine-year old skated beautifully to Bob Seeger's "Old Time Rock 'n Roll…Tonight's Commerce Bank Hometown Heroes were Tom Gill, Lake Daownham, Ian Hurst and Doug Brodbeck. The four US Coast Guards, were part of a rescue mission that saved the lives of three fishermen stranded off the coast of Fire Island.
Shadowing Bruce Bennett: The Islanders' longtime team photographer, Bruce Bennett, was on double duty tonight at the Nassau Coliseum. Along with taking his world-class photographs, Bennett served as educator for Mike McEarney of Picture Business Magazine and Len Musmeci of Canon.
The pair was at the Coliseum studying new digital technology and the challenges of shooting a hockey game. McEarney will be writing an article about his experience in an upcoming article for Picture Business Magazine. You can access the magazine's website at www.picturebusinessmag.com
6 Matthew Spiller - 24 Radek Martinek
44 Freddy Meyer - 3 Rob Davison
4 Bryan Berard – 2 Aaron Johnson
57 Blake Comeau – 10 Richard Park – 21 Kyle Okposo
15 Jeff Tambellini - 81 Miroslav Satan 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim – 63 Josef Vasicek - 13 Bill Guerin
28 Tim Jackman – 72 Jeremy Colliton – 48 Steve Regier
29 Marc-Andre Fleury
35 Ty Conklin
5 Darryl Sydor - 19 Ryan Whitney
44 Brooks Orpik - 55 Sergei Gonchar
2 Hal Gill - 58 Kris Letang
4 Rob Scuderi
38 Jeff Taffe - 11 Jordan Staal – 18 Marian Hossa
12 Ryan Malone - 71 Evgeni Malkin - 17 Petr Sykora
37 Jarkko Ruutu - 25 Maxime Talbot - 48 Tyler Kennedy
39 Christopher Minard - 27 Georges Laraque
Additional reporting by Andrew Scharff
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1 - 0 NYI
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 NYI
3 - 1 NYI
4 - 1 NYI