The Anaheim Ducks scored twice in the third period and then the game-winner from Saku Koivu, 14 seconds into overtime to complete a come-from-behind victory over the Islanders, 5-4 from the Honda Center. For the Islanders, Mark Streit, Richard Park, Kyle Okposo and John Tavares all had two points in the game. Tavares’ two points gives him seven in the last two games. The Islanders drop to 29-32-10 for 67 points and have earned points in their last five games.
The Islanders opened the scoring at the halfway mark of the first period when Jon Sim, stirring up the play deep in the Anaheim zone, tried to jam a puck under Anaheim starting goalie, Jonas Hiller. The Ducks’ net-minder was ready for Sim’s attempt and tried to sweep the puck into the left corner, but Park was there to grab the puck and chip it over the shoulder of Hiller for his ninth goal of the season.
Only 22 seconds later, Anaheim evened the score at 1-1 as Matt Beleskey came over the blue-line, took a feed from Scott Niedermayer from the near wall and snapped a shot through the legs of Islanders’ starter, Martin Biron. Todd Marchant had the second assist on Beleskey’s seventh goal of the season.
Anaheim would take the lead at 2-1 on a blast from Lubomir Visnovsky with less than two minutes to play in the opening frame. Kyle Chipchura rimmed the puck around the boards to Teemu Selanne who skated out from the left corner along the boards and saucered a soft pass to Visnovsky who crept in from his left point position. Visnovsky unloaded a shot over the left shoulder of Biron for his 14th tally of the season.
With the period looking like it would end with the Islanders trailing by a goal, Okposo, tied the score with 58 second remaining in the frame. Back in the lineup after sitting out the last game in Vancouver on Tuesday night, skated behind the net and attempted a backhand pass in front as Sean Bergenheim was cutting through the crease. The puck took a fortuitous bounce off the skate of Visnovsky and through Hiller to tie the game at two apiece. Bergenheim and Park had the assists on Okposo’s 15th goal of the season.
Okposo gave the Islanders their first lead in the middle frame, scoring his second of the game and 16th goal of the season while on the power play. John Tavares fed Streit at the point where walked across the blue-line and dished the puck to Okposo along the left-wall. With Moulson providing the screen in front, Okposo wristed a shot that Hiller did not see and the puck squeaked through his legs to give the Islanders the 3-2 lead.
Continuing his hot-streak, Tavares would double the Islanders’ lead to 4-2 with his 21st tally of the season, also coming on the power-play. Frans Nielsen fed a pass to Tavares in the high slot were he ducked his shoulder and backhanded a shot through the legs of Curtis McElhinney, who replaced Hiller after the Islanders’ third tally. Streit picked up his second assist of the period on Tavares’ seventh point in the last two games.
In the third, Anaheim cut the Islanders’ lead to one and then tied the score with less than a minute to play. Blake scored his 13th goal of the season, 9:53 into the third period and then it was Visnovsky, tallying his second goal of the game on a blast through a screen that found its way through Biron to tie the score at 4-4.
Koivu won the game for the Ducks 14 seconds into the extra session when he created a turnover in the neutral zone and came in alone on Biron. The Finnish Olympian snapped a shot past the blocker of Biron to take the second point in the contest for the Ducks in a 5-4 overtime victory.
The Islanders finished 2-for-3 on the man-advantage and 1-for-2 on the penalty-kill. McElhinney earned his fourth win of the season, stopping 13 of the 14 shots he faced in relief of Hiller, while Biron made 34 saves.
The Islanders will take on the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night at the STAPLES Center for the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Face-off is set for 10:30 p.m. The next home game for the Islanders is set for Thursday, March 25, 2010 when they take on the Calgary Flames. For tickets or information on group discounted pricing for any upcoming home games, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Saku Koivu - Scores the game winner and adds an assist
2. Kyle Okposo - Comes back from the game he missed in Vancouver and tallies two goals
3. Lubomir Visnovsky - Tallies two goals
Honorable Mention: John Tavares - Scores a goal and an assist giving him seven points in the last two games
Easy Decision: Scott Gordon had an easy decision, picking who was going to start tonight’s game for the Islanders in goal. Martin Biron came into tonight’s game with an 8-0-0 record against Anaheim over his career.
In the Hundreds: For both Jack Hillen and Matt Moulson, Friday night’s game against the Ducks marked a monumental night for the two Islander youngsters. Hillen, in his second full season with the Islanders and Moulson, skating in his first both played in their 100th career NHL game against the Ducks.
Twitter Chat: If you're not following the Islanders on Twitter...what are you waiting for. Tonight in the second intermission we had Trevor Gillies answering questions of Islander fans. Check it out by CLICKING HERE.
42 Dan Sexton – 11 Saku Koivu– 8 Teemu Selanne
10 Corey Perry – 15 Ryan Getzlaf – 9 Bobby Ryan
33 Jason Blake – 22 Todd Marchant – 39 Matt Beleskey
20 Ryan Carter – 28 Kyle Chipchura – 50 Troy Bodie