For the first time in franchise history, the New York Islanders defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena Saturday night, 4-3 in overtime. Josh Bailey had the game-winning tally in the extra session, while Kyle Okposo, Sean Bergenheim and Jon Sim tallied in regulation time. Mark Streit played a team/season high, 32:38 tonight as the Islanders surpassed a franchise record, playing in their 23rd overtime game of the season. With the win, the Islanders improve their record to 31-34-10, giving them 72 points this season.
The Islanders opened the scoring, 4:32 into the first period when he wristed his 17th goal of the season past Columbus starting goalie, Mathieu Garon. Matt Moulson intercepted a pass up the left-wing boards and snapped the puck deep into the Blue Jackets’ zone. The puck bounced off the end boards and back out to Okposo who was parked in the right circle. Garon attempted to squeeze his left post, but Okposo ripped a shot just over the shoulder of the Columbus net-minder before he could close the opening.
A minute later, Bergenheim made it a 2-0 lead in favor of the Islanders. What seemed like a broken play behind the Blue Jackets’ net, ended up with Tim Jackman winning a battle, walking up the far boards and sending a turn-around shot on net. Bergenheim battled for positioning in front and tipped the puck through Garon to double the Islanders’ lead. Freddy Meyer also had an assist on Bergenheim’s seventh goal of the season.
Columbus started the second period on the power-play and only 51 seconds in, cut the Islanders’ lead to 2-1. Anton Stralman found Rick Nash at the right point where the Canadian Olympian fired a slap-shot that R.J. Umberger redirected past Islanders’ starting goalie Dwayne Roloson for his 21st tally of the season.
Within the first 1:18 of the third period, the Blue Jackets would tie and then take their first lead of the contest. Only 33 seconds into the period, Nash trailed a 3-on-2 rush into the Islanders zone and took a drop pass from Kristian Huselius in the high slot and ripped it into the empty-net as Roloson was set for a shot from Huselius in the left circle. Antoine Vermette had the second assist on Nash’s 31 tally of the year.
Grant Clitsome followed with his first career NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, blasting a shot from the left point through traffic and past Roloson for the 3-2 Columbus lead. Chris Clark and Samuel Pahlsson had the assists on the go-ahead goal.
Sim would answer for the Islanders, tying the score at 3-3. Josh Bailey played the puck into the near corner where Islanders’ defenseman Jack Hillen corralled the puck quickly snapped it in front to Sim. Just as Sim was about to take a cross-check from a Blue Jackets’ defenseman, Sim one-timed the feed under Garon for his 11th goal of the season.
In the extra session, it was Bailey completing a hard-working rush up ice to capture the 4-3 for the Islanders. Streit broke the puck out of the Islanders’ zone, powering through two Blue Jackets and then fluttering a pass to John Tavares in the high slot. Tavares drew two defenders to him before backhanding a feed to Bailey who was in alone on Garon. Bailey faked a shot, slightly pushed it in front of him and slid the puck through the legs of the Columbus net-minder to capture the win for the Islanders.
Roloson finished with 34 saves on 37 shots to earn his 23rd win of the season while his counterpart, Garon made 24 saves. The Islanders were 3-for-4 on the penalty-kill and did not have an odd-man advantage in the game.
The Islanders will return to action on Tuesday night when they welcome the New York Rangers to the Nassau Coliseum for the final time this season at 7 p.m. For tickets or information on receiving group discounted pricing for any future home games, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Mark Streit – Assisted on the game-winning goal in OT and played a season high 32:38
2. Josh Bailey – Scores the game-winning goal and adds an assist
3. Rick Nash – Tallies a goal and an assist
Honorable Mention: Dwayne Roloson – Once again the Islander net-minder doesn’t get the star nod but the Islanders would not have been in the game without him. 34 saves
Twitter Stat: Great stat by Islanders’ beat writer Katie Strang from her Twitter posting @KatieStrangNYI during the game. “According to Elias Sports Bureau, 726 games played is lowest in league. Carolina had only 888 games of experience on D after last game; beyond that, the lowest is 1400. 726 games of total combined NHL experience for tonight's Islanders defensive corps...for comparison, Brendan Witt alone has 890.” The Islanders can be found on Twitter @NYIslanders.
Over 30: No we’re not talking about his age, Islanders’ defenseman played over 30 minutes tonight against the Blue Jackets. This is only the second time this season that Streit has surpassed the 30-minute mark, the last time was on March 11, Streit played 31:07 against the St. Louis Blues.
Right Back ‘Atcha’: When the Columbus Blue Jackets traded Dylan Reese to the Islanders in exchange for Greg Moore, they were assuming that they would not have to see the Harvard graduate again this season. Due to several injuries on defense, Reese has been a mainstay on the Islanders’ blue-line and got to play in his first game against his former team tonight at Nationwide Arena. Tim Jackman and Mark Flood are two other current Islanders that played tonight.
OT to the Max: After going to overtime tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Islanders set a franchise record with 23 extra sessions.
Forwards 20 Kristian Huselius – 61 Rick Nash – 50 Antoine Vermette
15 Derek Dorsett – 26 Samuel Pahlsson – 11 Chris Clark
18 R.J. Umberger – 16 Derick Brassard – 93 Jakub Voracek
12 Mike Blunden – 4 Nathan Paetsch – 17 Andrew Murray
Defensemen 44 Grant Clitsome – 6 Anton Stralman
10 Kris Russell – 22 Mike Commodore
51 Fedor Tyutin – 3 Marc Methot
1 Mathieu Garon (starter)
1 Steve Mason
1 - 0 NYI
2 - 0 NYI
2 - 1 NYI
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 CBJ
3 - 3 Tie