Comrie tallies goal and an assist, Danis stops 37 shots in Islanders' 3-1 victory over Florida at Nassau Coliseum
By Jason Lockhart
The Islanders defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-1, Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum, behind a goal and assist from Mike Comrie and 37 saves by Yann Danis. The win was the third straight for the Islanders, who have recorded points in four consecutive games (3-0-1).
"We're getting consistency with big saves," said Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon. "Our defensive zone coverage has been something that we've had to clean up. It's been a work in progress and it's getting better."
Special teams highlighted the victory on Town of Brookhaven Night. The Islanders successfully killed off six Panthers power plays, including a four-minute double-minor in the second period. Conversely, the Islanders capitalized on one of their four power plays, when Kyle Okposo scored in the third period.
"I thought we did a great job on the penalty kill," said Danis. "We didn't give them much."
Comrie took advantage of a Tomas Vokoun giveaway to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead with 1:26 remaining in the first period. Vokoun attempted to feed the puck behind the net to defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, but Comrie cut off the pass and stuffed the puck into the empty side. His goal came soon after the Islanders had killed off a four-minute power play.
The second period remained a tight battle, with shots 12-8 in favor of the Islanders. But the score remained 1-0 after two periods of play.
In the third period, the Islanders added some cushion to their lead.
Bill Guerin scored one of the Islanders' most skilled goals of the season at 4:19 of the third period. Comrie's centering pass deflected to Guerin, who was directly in front of Vokoun in the slot. In one quick motion, Guerin moved the puck to his backhand and completed a spin-o-rama that ended with the puck sliding by the vacant side of the net. Frans Nielsen also assisted on Guerin's team-leading 15th goal of the season.
With 8:58 remaining in the third period, Trent Hunter found Okposo on a 2-on-1 on the power play for a one-timer goal. It was Okposo's fifth goal in the past four games.
"I'm starting to get a feel for my linemates," said Okposo, who is playing in his second game with Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau. "I've been the beneficiary of some pretty good plays and passes. I've just been trying to find that soft area and it's working."
With Vokoun pulled in favor of an extra skater, the Panthers made it a 3-1 game off a deflection by Keith Ballard with 1:27 to play in the third period. But that would be as close as Florida would come.
"I just wanted the win," said Danis. "It didn't matter if we won 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2. All we need is to win games."
The Islanders return to action on Tuesday when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Nassau Coliseum at 7 pm on Girls and Women in Sports Night.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Yann Danis: Has won three-straight games, stopping 110 shots in that span 2. Richard Park: Very effective on the penalty kill, led all Islanders forwards with 16:40 3. Mike Comrie: Goal and an assist, 3 shots, +2
Bill Guerin: His goal will be on highlight reels as one of the season's prettiest Kyle Okposo: Has been on fire this month, gelling well with new linemates Comeau and Bailey
Nassau Mustangs' Coach Bill Nimmo is Saturday's Modell's Amateur Hockey Award winner
Slapshots: Jeff Tambellini (healthy) and Jon Sim (healthy) were Saturday's scratches...Pro wrestler Mick Foley took in Saturday's game at the Nassau Coliseum...Tomas Vokoun was pulled with 5:16 remaining in the third period with the team down 3-0...Bill Guerin led all Islanders with five shots...The Islanders blocked 24 shots to the Panthers' 12... Radek Martinek led the way with five blocked shots...Bill Nimmo, coach of the Nassau Mustangs was Saturday's Modell's Amateur Hockey Award winner. Nimmo and the Mustangs recently traveled to Harbin, China, to participate in the Charles B. Wang Ice Hockey Project Hope Tournament.
34 Yann Danis
1 Peter Mannino