The Islanders capitalized on three costly turnovers deep in the Dallas Stars zone Friday night but the Stars were able to tally four goals on Islanders’ net-minder Rick DiPietro, making his first start in a year, to beat the Islanders 4-3. Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist for the Islanders who see their record drop to 18-19-8. Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo had the other two Islander tallies in the game.
DiPietro stopped nine of the ten shots he faced. That lone shot that did elude the Islander goaltender came early in the first period on a redirection off of Toby Peterson’s stick and through DiPietro for the 1-0 Stars’ lead. In position for Stars’ defenseman Trevor Daley’s point shot, Peterson was able to free his stick and tip the shot through DiPietro for his fourth goal of the season at 4:44 of the first period.
Two deadly turnovers caused by the pressure of Islander forward Bailey, would cost Dallas their lead and then put them behind at the conclusion of the first period.
The Islanders evened the score at 1-1 about three minutes later when Dallas goalie Marty Turco misplayed a puck in his crease. Bailey, who was the first Islander fore-checker into the zone, reached his stick out to attempt to block Turco’s outlet pass but instead he beat the Stars’ net-minder to the puck and pushed it over the line for his tenth goal of the season, giving him a point in five straight games.
Bailey’s pressure on the Dallas defense led to the Islanders taking a 2-1 lead. Daley tried to reverse the play up the left-wing boards but Bailey got his stick in the way, redirecting it out front to Okposo. Turco was hugging the right post, expecting the play to move around to the Stars’ forward along the boards but before he knew it, Okposo ripped the puck past Turco’s glove for his eighth tally of the season, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead.
Loui Eriksson tied the score 4:18 into the second period, tying him for the team leads in goals with 18. Brad Richards and Jere Lehtinen assisted on the goal.
Once again it was a turnover by Turco that led to the Islanders third marker of the contest. Trent Hunter snapped a shot from the right corner towards Turco that he gloved and then skated into the slot to try and move the play up ice. Matt Moulson followed him, waiting for the Dallas net-minder to drop the puck and as he did, Moulson lifted his stick to steal it away. As he tangled up Turco, Frans Nielsen backhanded the puck into the empty net for his seventh goal of the season, regaining a one-goal lead at 3-2.
Dallas countered less than a minute later, tying the score at 3-3 on Brendan Morrow’s 14th tally of the season and then took the lead, 16:47 into the middle frame when Richards one-timed an Eriksson pass from the far corner past DiPietro’s left pad for his 13th goal of the season.
In the third period, the Stars were only able to muster up three shots as opposed to the Islanders seven but all seven Turco stopped to help the Stars to a 4-3 victory.
DiPietro finished the game with 24 saves while his counterpart Turco stopped 19 shots. The Islanders were 0-for-2 on the power-play and 1-for-1 on the penalty-kill.
Saturday night, the Islanders will conclude their three-game road swing in Phoenix as they get set to take on the Coyotes at 8 p.m. The Islander will return home to face-off against the defending Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings, Tuesday at 7 p.m. from the Nassau Coliseum. For tickets or information on any upcoming Islander home game, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail email@example.com.
1. Brad Richards – Finished with a goal and an assist
2. Josh Bailey – Also scores a goal and an assist
3. Loui Eriksson – Completes the three star selection with a goal and an assist
Honorable Mention: Rick DiPietro – Battled in his first game back and looked good, moving from post-to-post all night
Up Downs: These are exercises in football that players despise because they require intense physical effort, which can describe the Dallas Stars’ most recent schedule. They began the week in New Jersey on Tuesday and were beaten by Martin Brodeur and the Devils in a 4-0 shutout loss. The following night they were in the city visiting the Rangers and lost 5-2. Tonight they returned home to face the Islanders and then will go back out on the road tomorrow to play in Columbus against the Blue Jackets Sunday, before returning to the east coast to play the Flyers on Tuesday.
Bailin’ Out: Islanders’ forward Josh Bailey scored in the first period to extend his scoring streak to five games. He now has three goals and five assists (8 points) in the team’s last nine games. Prior to this current streak that he is on, Bailey did not have a point in ten straight games.
Turning a new lid:Rick DiPietro returned to the ice tonight for the Islanders and donned a new helmet. He had a new helmet last season but with the way goalies are superstitious…he changed it. This version of the mask has the same theme where he honors all of the soldiers that have fought for the United States of America. He also has his name “Ricco” on the back plate.
57 Blake Comeau – 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
26 Matt Moulson – 51 Frans Nielsen – 7 Trent Hunter
16 Jon Sim – 13 Rob Schremp – 12 Josh Bailey
11 Nate Thompson – 93 Doug Weight – 10 Richard Park
2 Mark Streit – 47 Andrew MacDonald
25 Andy Sutton – 38 Jack Hillen
32 Brendan Witt – 8 Bruno Gervais
Goalies 39 Rick DiPietro (starter)
43 Martin Biron
21 Loui Eriksson – 91 Brad Richards – 26 Jere Lehtinen
18 James Neal – 9 Mike Modano – 17 Toby Peterson
14 Jamie Benn – 10 Brendan Morrow – 23 Tom Wandell
13 Krystofer Barch – 29 Steve Ott – 20 Brian Sutherby
28 Mark Fistric – 3 Stephane Robidas
44 Jeff Woywitka – 6 Trevor Daley
37 Karlis Skrastins – 5 Matt Niskanen
35 Marty Turco (starter)
31 Alex Auld