It was a night of tens as both Mark Streit and Jon Sim scored their tenths goals of the season to lead the Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Freddy Meyer and Sean Bergenheim also tallies goals for the Islanders. Dwayne Roloson made 38 saves on 40 shots to improve the Islanders’ record to 27-32-9, giving them 63 points.
Only three minutes into the game, New Jersey took a 1-0 lead on Mike Mottau’s second goal of the season. A broken play in the right corner came up along the boards to Mottau at the point. The Devils’ defenseman snapped a shot on goal through a heavy screen in front that found its way past Islanders’ starter Dwayne Roloson. Rod Pelley and Dean McAmmond had the assists on the Devils’ goal coming on their first shot.
The Islanders were finally able to sustain pressure in the New Jersey zone with three minutes remaining as Meyer tied the score at 1-1. Josh Bailey walked across the Devils’ blue-line and fed a streaking Tim Jackman as he was streaking in from the far side. Jackman snapped a shot on former Islander and now Devils’ net-minder, Yann Danis that he tried to catch but the puck popped out of his mitt and onto the stick of Meyer who was driving the net. Meyer shoveled a shot over the blocker of Danis for his third tally of the season.
In the second, the Islanders would take their first lead of the game and double their lead within a minute. Sim deposited his tenth tally of the season at the 11:59 mark, giving the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Richard Park led a rush out of the Islanders’ zone and dished a pass to Richard Park in the neutral zone. Park tried to split the Devils’ defensemen but was stripped of the puck. Sim, who was trailing the play, picked up the loose puck and snapped a low shot past the pad of Danis for his tenth goal of the season.
Exactly 50 seconds later, Streit ripped his tenth goal of the season past Danis while the Islanders were on the power play. Frans Nielsen walked the blue-line and saucered a pass to Streit at the left point. The Islanders’ assistant captain wound up and blasted a shot that redirected off of New Jersey defenseman, Mottau in front to double the Islanders’ lead to 3-1 at the end of two periods of play.
New Jersey pulled within a goal of the Islanders when Kovalchuk scored his 36th goal of the season, blasting a slap shot past Roloson. MacAmmond picked up his second assist on the goal.
With the Islanders on the penalty-kill, Blake Comeau broke up a play at the top of the zone and skated in on a 2-on-1 with Bergenheim. Comeau was immediately stood up as they skated into the New Jersey zone but was still able to slide the puck over the Bergenheim, as he came in alone on Danis. Bergenheim backhanded a shot that fluttered off of Danis and past his blocker to seal the Islanders’ victory at 4-2.
Roloson finished the game with 38 saves to earn his 21st win of the season while his counterpart, Danis made 25 saves.
The Islanders will be right back in action on Sunday evening when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final time this season. For tickets or information on group discounted tickets for any upcoming game, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Mark Streit – Scores the game-winning goal
2. Dwayne Roloson – Makes 38 saves to earn his 21st win of the season
3. Blake Comeau – All over the ice, hitting and contributing on the scoreboard with an assist on Bergenheim’s shorthanded tally
Honorable Mention: Sean Bergenheim – Scores shorthanded in the third period
Healthy Scratches: For the first time this season, the Islanders will not have any healthy scratches. With Doug Weight announcing today that he will miss the final 15 games (counting tonight’s match-up with the Devils), Jeff Tambellini was re-inserted into the lineup.
Kov-eted by the Devils: Tonight was the first time the Islanders took on the Devils’ high profile deadline acquisition, Ilya Kovalchuk. Since joining the Devils, he had played in 11 games coming into tonight’s game and averaged a point in each contest. In his seven seasons prior to joining New Jersey, Kovalchuk had scored over 70 points each year. New Jersey also acquired Martin Skoula at the deadline in a deal from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Pregame Meeting: As most of the New Jersey players stepped off the ice from the morning skate, Devils’ assistant coach Scott Stevens led the extras in a “bag skate,” also known as skating sprints. Watching the session was Islanders’ tough guy Trevor Gillies who explained that his all-time favorite player as a kid was Stevens. After Gillies showered and prepared a stick for tonight’s game, he met Stevens in the hallway for a one-on-one conversation about some of his favorite memories of watching the Hall of Fame defenseman play.