The New York Islander defense was the story for the visitors from Long Island. Jack Hillen and Mark Streit combined for the team's two goals but it was not enough as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Islanders 4-2. Zach Parise, Brian Rolston and Travis Zajac each scored in the second period and Brendan Shanahan tallied in the third, for the Devils. Dwayne Roloson played in his first complete game for the Islanders making 16 saves in the loss.
Six minutes into the opening period, John Tavares had his best chance of the preseason when he took a pass from Matt Moulson in the high slot and walked in untouched on future Hall of Fame net-minder, Martin Brodeur. Tavares took his space, then rung a shot off the right post keeping the game scoreless.
The Islanders opened the scoring a minute into the second period while Devils forward Rod Pelley was in the penalty box serving a Too Many Men penalty for New Jersey. Freddy Meyer started the play along the near wing boards, sending a cross-ice pass to Hillen at the left point. Hillen walked in and used Sean Bergenheim as a screen, wristing a shot through Brodeur for the 1-0 Islander lead. Matt Moulson also had an assist on Hillen’s first goal of the preseason. New Jersey would tie the score at the 5:33 mark of the middle frame. Parise jammed a loose puck under Roloson and the puck snuck over the goal line before the Islander goaltender could grab it, tying the score at 1-1. Jamie Langenbrunner and Travis Zajac had the assists on the tally.
Streit would regain the Islanders one-goal lead while on a 5-on-3 power-play with 9:42 remaining in the second period. Streit was playing the point position alongside Jeff Tambellini. With Blake Comeau screening in front, Tambellini dished a pass back to Streit at the right point where he fired a blistering shot over the right shoulder of Brodeur to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. New Jersey tied the score at the 14:21 mark of the period on a goal from Rolston. The 15-year NHL veteran snapped a shot from the left circle over Rolston's shoulder to tie the score at two. Cory Murphy had the lone assist on the play.
Zajac would give the Devils their first lead of the contest with two minutes remaining in the middle frame. The Devil center-man stole a breakout pass at the top of the Islanders' zone and chipped the fluttering puck to Parise in the left corner. Parise completed the give-and-go with Zajac, sending a pass back to him for a one-time shot off the left post and past Roloson, giving the Devils a 3-2.
New Jersey would tack on one more goal 12:03 into the third period on a goal from Shanahan. Dainius Zubrus led an outlet pass to Nicklas Bergfors, springing him on a two-on-one with Shanahan cutting down the left-wing. Bergfors saucered a cross-ice pass to Shanahan in the left circle where he one-timed a shot past Roloson completing the game’s scoring in favor of the Devils at 4-2.
On Saturday, the Islanders will begin the 2009-10 regular season at the Nassau Coliseum when they host Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. For tickets or information on future Islander games, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Travis Zajac – Scores a goal and an assist
2. Zach Parise – Matches his center-man with a goal and an assist
3. Brendan Shanahan – Blasts a one-timer past Roloson showing he still has it at 40 years of age
Honorable Mention: Jack Hillen – Scores his first goal of the preseason
Pain in the…ear: At the Islanders morning skate, Nate Thompson was wearing the yellow jersey centering Jeremy Reich and Joel Rechlicz but halfway through, the Islander center-man was skating off the ice. Thompson took a puck to his ear, cutting it and causing him to leave practice to be attended on by the team’s medical staff. Tomas Marcinko rejoined the Islanders this afternoon, taking a car down from Bridgeport to meet the team in New Jersey.
Reich Update: Islander winger, Jeremy Reich left the 1st period after a fight with Devils' defenseman, Bryce Salvador. Reich was ruled to have a broken left wrist.
Watching the Wire: Islanders’ General Manger Garth Snow was all over the waiver wire this afternoon, swooping in to claim Rob Schremp from the Edmonton Oilers before he passed through to join the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. Schremp is expected to join the team as soon as possible. The Devils placed Jay Leach, Rob Davison and Tim Sestito on waivers this afternoon. All three players were in the lineup against the Islanders last Wednesday.
New D Pairings: Last season Islanders head coach Scott Gordon had veteran defenseman Brendan Witt paired with Radek Martinek. Tonight, Witt was skating with Jack Hillen and Martinek was paired with Mark Streit.
20 Sean Bergenheim – 91 John Tavares – 26 Matt Moulson
15 Jeff Tambellini – 12 Josh Bailey – 16 Jon Sim
77 Trevor Smith – 27 Greg Moore – 57 Blake Comeau
17 Jeremy Reich – 50 Tomas Marcinko – 40 Joel Rechlicz
2 Mark Streit – 24 Radek Martinek
32 Brendan Witt – 38 Jack Hillen
25 Andy Sutton – 44 Freddy Meyer
30 Dwayne Roloson
43 Martin Biron Devils
12 Brian Rolston – 8 Dainus Zubrus – 14 Brendan Shanahan
9 Zach Parise – 19 Travis Zajac – 15 Jamie Langenbrunner
23 David Clarkson – 21 Rob Niedermayer – 18 Nicklas Bergfors
22 Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond – 10 Rod Pelley – 25 Andrew Peters
7 Paul Martin – 29 Johnny Oduya
27 Mike Mottau – 5 Colin White
24 Bryce Salvador – 28 Cory Murphy
30 Martin Brodeur
35 Yann Danis
Snap shot -