Kyle Okposo and Jack Hillen scored goals, but the Islanders home winning streak was snapped at six games, as the New Jersey Devils came out on top, 4-2.
"Any loss is tough," Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro said. "You hope that we don't look back at the end of the season and realize that these were two point that we shouldve had. We'll learn from our mistakes."
The game started off quickly as both teams exchanged scoring chances at both ends of the ice less than four minutes in.
Kyle Okposo led a two-on-one rush with Josh Bailey to put early pressure on New Jersey. As Okposo fed the centering feed over to his linemate, Bailey redirected the puck over a sliding Martin Brodeur. However, the post was in the pucks way, keeping the Islanders off the board.
The action quickly turned to the other side of the ice, as Okposo again was in the middle of the play. With an open net staring Jamie Langenbrunner in the face, Okposo darted towards the open side and got in front of Langenbrunners shot to keep both teams scoreless.
However, the Devils would end up getting the first period lead.
Langenbrunner would get redemption as he put the Devils on the board first 5:52 into the opening period. After Travis Zajac was denied by a sliding pad save by DiPietro, Zajac got the puck back again behind the net. He saw Langenbrunner streaking towards DiPietro and passed it off. The Devils captain proceeded to fire a hard one-timer slapshot over the shoulder of DiPeitro for the 1-0 Devils lead.
The second period would be all Islanders as they outshot the Devils, 14-1 in the middle frame.
Okposo evened up the game midway through the second period on a major power play opportunity. With Colin White serving a major penalty for boarding, the Islanders had five minutes to do what they could with the man advantage.
And right from the get-go, they converted.
John Tavares attempted to send a centering pass to Kyle Okposo waiting in the slot. However, Tavares didn't get everything on the pass, but the puck landed on Okposo's stick. It was just enough to throw Brodeur off, as Okposo fired a shot behind the Devils netminder to tie it up at 1-1.
Just two minutes later, Jack Hillen gave the Islanders a one-goal lead with his team still on the power play. Hillen fired a slapshot towards Brodeur that rang off the post. As Brodeur scrambled to find the puck, his teammate Bryce Salvador shot the puck over his own goal line in an attempt to clear it away to put the Islanders up 2-1 in the middle period. The goal was Hillen's second of the season.
Zach Parise evened things up with 32 seconds left in the second period with his 22nd goal of the season. With Bruno Gervais in the penalty box serving a hooking minor, Parise looked to send a centering pass to Nick Palmieri. However, the pass deflected off the skate of Freddy Meyer and flew top corner over DiPietros shoulder to tie things up at 2-2.
The third period would be quite the opposite from the second, with the Devils outshooting the Islanders 14-3.
"We stopped pushing the pace," Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon said. "We didn't take advantage of the fact that they played last night."
New Jersey would grab the lead in the third period, which would be enough for them.
Salvador would get redemption from the Islanders second marker, as he put the Devils up by a goal with 6:49 left in the third period with his third of the season. Following an offensive zone faceoff win by Rob Niedermayer, Salvador fired a slap shot towards the Islanders net. The puck made its way through a maze of bodies and rose up quickly on DiPietro, eventually finding its way to the back of the net for a 3-2 Devils lead.
"It came through the screen and snuck through me," DiPietro said. "It's kind of the way the third period went."
Parise would add an empty netter with 45 second left to ice the game for New Jersey for a 4-2 advantage.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Bryce Salvador, NJD: Scored game winning goal. 2. Kyle Okposo, NYI: Goal and assist 3. Travis Zajac, NJD: Two assists, +2
Slapshots: New Jersey outshot the Islanders, 28-22...Jack Hillen led all Islanders with 15:44 of ice time...Islanders were 2-5 on the power play, while the Devils converted on their only man advantage...Jeff Tambellini (healthy), Martin Biron (healthy) and Andy Sutton (suspension) were the Islanders scratches...This was the fourth meeting of the season between the two teams, with New Jersey holding a 3-1 season advantage...Islanders now hold an all-time record of 109-67-27 against the Devils.
12 Josh Bailey - 91 John Tavares - 21 Kyle Okposo
26 Matt Moulson - 51 Frans Nielsen - 7 Trent Hunter
16 Jon Sim - 13 Rob Schremp - 57 Blake Comeau
20 Sean Bergenheim - 93 Doug Weight - 10 Richard Park
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
9 Zach Parise - 19 Travis Zajac - 15 Jamie Langenbrunner
20 Jay Pandolfo - 21 Rob Niedermayer - 14 Patrick Davis
12 Brian Rolston - 11 Dean McAmmond - 16 Nick Palmieri
18 Niclas Berfors - 17 Ben Walter - 28 Vladimir Zharkov
6 Andy Greene - 24 Bryce Salvador
5 Colin White - 27 Mike Mottau
29 Johnny Oduya - 2 Mark Fraser