Six different players scored for the Islanders as the team topped its season-high for goals in a game, defeating the Atlanta Thrashers, 6-3 at the Nassau Coliseum.
"We generated a lot of chances tonight," Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon said. "The best part is doing it at the end of a pretty tough stretch where we were playing every other night. It just goes to show the guys at a time when they could easily have not had any jump, I think this was the most jump we had in any of the games."
Along with the contributions from six different goal scorers, the Islanders also had 13 different players register at least one point.
"It's a feel good thing for everybody," Gordon noted. "Everybody wants to be able to contribute offensively. If you can get balanced scoring, it's a lot harder to defend against. We've had different lines get the production on a particular night, but it's good to see it go throughout the lineup."
Andy Sutton gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead in midway through the first period with his third goal of the season. Sutton broke deep into the Atlanta zone and was fed off a beautiful cross ice pass by John Tavares. The big Islanders defenseman stopped short to draw Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec to the ice and lifted a backhander over the sprawled netminder for the one-goal lead 9:11 into the opening frame.
With things evened up at one goal apiece, Sean Bergenheim quickly tied the game up for the Islanders just 38 seconds after Atlanta's tally to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Bergenhiem, playing in his 200th NHL game, was in the right place at the right time corralling a loose puck that hit off of Frans Nielsen's back and put it past an unsuspecting Pavelec for his first goal of the season.
Jack Hillen gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead with 1:08 left in the first period for his first of the season. With both teams playing four-on-four hockey, Hillen took a pass form Blake Comeau at the blue line and waited for the right moment to unleash a slapshot. As skaters from both teams converged in front of the Thrashers net, Hillen fired a slapshot that Pavelec did not see and ended up behind the Atlanta netminder.
"I think we got a lot of firepower and a lot of young guys that bring a lot of talent," John Tavares said after the game. "We could jump on them early and I think we were able to sustain it all game long. You put up 21 shots on net in the first and you keep that rolling, I think it brings our confidence up."
Comeau quickly gave the Islanders a 4-1 lead just 22 seconds into the second period. Comeau skated into the Atlanta zone, and fired a wrist shot that looked to catch Pavelec by surprise. The shot sailed over Pavelec's glove hand for Comeau's first of the season to give the Isles a three-goal lead.
"It feels good," Comeau said. "It feels even better because we won. Anytime you can get a win and you're able to contribute, it's a better feeling."
Comeau had missed the past six games as a healthy scratch.
"Its been frustrating but I thought I had a good attitude about it, I thought I was working hard when I needed to in practice," Comeau said after the game. "I was just waiting for my opportunity to get back in the lineup."
After Atlana cut their deficit to two goals, Matt Moulson gave the Islanders their three-goal lead back with his seventh goal of the season. Moulson positioned himself at the top of the right faceoff circle to Pavelec as Tavares circled the Atlanta net. After receiving the pass from Tavares, Moulson settled the puck and slapped it over Pavelecs shoulder for the 5-2 lead 11:59 into the second period.
Richard Park received a secondary assist on Moulsons goal - his 200th career NHL point.
Zach Bogosian and Pavel Kubina notched goals for Atlanta in each of the first two periods.
Christoph Schubert added a late goal for Atlanta in the third period, but Josh Bailey increased the Islanders lead to three goals once again on the power play with his third goal of the season with 4:25 left in the game. With the Islanders on a four-minute power play, Bailey skated into the Thrashers zone and ripped a wrist shot past Atlanta backup goaltender Johan Hedberg for the 6-3 lead.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Blake Comeau, NYI: Goal, assist 2. John Tavares, NYI: Two assists 3. Matt Moulson, NYI: Goal, assist, six shots
Road Trippin: The Islanders face a tough stretch of games in the month of November, only coming back to the Nassau Coliseum two more times. They'll also play 14 of the next 16 games on the road. "Anytime you win at home and you make your building a tough place to play it's always good for the club and good for everybody," John Tavares said after the game. "We needed this, it's good for everybody to have our confidence up the next couple of days. We need to get our rest and get ready for a couple of tough games coming up."
Slapshots: Islanders outshot Atlanta 45-34...Mark Streitled all Islanders with 24:07 of ice time...Matt Moulson and Sean Bergenheim led all Islanders with 6 shots on goal...Brendan Witt and Nate Thompson were the only Islanders to not register a shot on goal...Doug Weight (upper body), Radek Martinek (leg), and Rob Schremp (healthy) were the Islanders scratches...Sean Bergenheim played in his 200th NHL game...Attendance was 14,119.