|NYI||1||1||0||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|TBL||1||1||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
After what may have been the most lengthy video review in Islanders history, a shot that forward Matt Moulson took from his knees 1:56 into the overtime period was deemed a goal, handing the Tampa Bay Lightning their first overtime loss of the season as they fell 3-2.
“I had no clue,” Moulson said about scoring the game-winning goal. “I was laying on the ground, but (Video Coordinator) Ryan (Ward) said it went in. I was a little nervous when he said it did go in because then I was wondering if they were really going to call it (a goal).”
With that call, the referees solidified the Islanders best start to a season since 2001-02, as they have posted a 4-1-2 record in their first seven games for 10 points. With the win, the Islanders were the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach double digits, as Pittsburgh reached that same feat just a few minutes later after beating the Nashville Predators in overtime 4-3.
“They're a hard team to play against,” said Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. “They have some things that they do that you have to be aware of and times I thought we were really good at it and we made it hard for them. They're a team that's been putting up a lot of shots and we were able to limit the amount of shots they had.”
Even though the Islanders accomplished a lot with the win, the team knows that they really didn’t play their best hockey. “We didn't play our best obviously and we gave up a few chances, but we had some stellar goaltending and got the two points,” Moulson said. “So, I think that's the key is just finding a way to win, even when we're not playing our best.”
The Islanders win definitely didn’t come easy, as they battled for every point they tallied at the St. Pete Times Forum. But the most notable effort was the goal that almost no one saw until watching the video replay. As the Islanders controlled the play in the Bolts defensive zone, Mike Mottau shot from the point and Frans Nielsen followed up with the rebound, but as the play scrambled in front of the net, Moulson shot the puck from his knees.
Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis swatted the puck out of the net, continuing the game as if the puck never passed the goal line and play continued for over a minute before the whistle was blown, giving Islanders head coach Scott Gordon the opportunity to ask for a video review.
At the midway point in the game, the Islanders found themselves on the power play after Steven Stamkos went to the penalty box for cross checking at 9:46. Fourteen seconds later, forward PA Parenteau wristed the puck into the net with a one-timer after James Wisniewski’s shot from the umbrella grazed off his stick and deflected towards the forward.
Not only did the power play goal tie up the game, it would eventually send the teams into overtime and prove once again that the Islanders aren’t about to give up. They want to win and are going to do anything they can to get there.
“Bottom line, we came in here looking for two points and it was all business tonight,” said Islanders forward and former Lightning tough guy Zenon Konopka. “You find ways to win. If you want to be a playoff team, you have to find ways to win and we did that tonight. We have to learn from this as well. We made some mistakes and gave them a few too many chances, but we’ll take this and move on.”
While the Islanders weren’t able to capitalize on more than one of their power play opportunities, their lone PP goal was the first allowed by the Lightning since opening night on October 9. And yet there were still a few more positives on the night.
Islanders rookie forward Michael Grabner notched the team’s first goal of the night just 2:15 into the first period. To set up the play, Islanders captain Doug Weight found Nino Niederreiter in front of the net, who backhanded a shot that ricocheted off of Ellis just as Grabner used his speed to get to the net for a wrist shot off the rebound.
But that same period, the Islanders were looking strong as they cycled through their systems, until seconds after Isles defenseman Mike Mottau took a slapshot from the point, the puck deflected off of the traffic giving Lightning forward Sean Bergenheim a breakaway for a goal at 18:05.
As the Islanders struggled to control the play in the second period, forward Martin St. Louis tallied the Lightning’s second goal of the game, after Steven Stamkos recovered the puck in the Islanders zone for a two-on-two rush down ice, resulting in the Bolts first lead of the game.
Despite those two goals, coach Gordon still took a few positives out of his team’s performance, including what he called an improvement in Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro’s game.
“(He made a) huge save on the power play breakaway on Bergenheim and (it was) a little bit of redemption for him, since Bergie got (the Lightning’s) first goal,” Gordon said about DiPietro, who made 28 saves on the night.
“I thought tonight he did a better job fighting through the screens than he did in his previous games,” Gordon continued. “That's an important part of all goaltenders' (games) that when the puck goes to the point, you're not just dropping and hoping it hits you. You've got to find them and react to what can happen on the way to the net and I think he's doing a better job of that.”
|Michael Grabner (2) ASST: Nino Niederreiter (1), Doug Weight (5)|
1 - 0 NYI
|Sean Bergenheim (2) ASST: Teddy Purcell (5), Victor Hedman (4)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Martin St. Louis (2) ASST: Steven Stamkos (5), Mike Lundin (1)|
2 - 1 TBL
|PPG - Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (2) ASST: James Wisniewski (5), John Tavares (2)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Matt Moulson (4) ASST: Frans Nielsen (4), Mike Mottau (3)|
3 - 2 NYI
|Mike Mottau Holding against Martin St. Louis|
|Sean Bergenheim Holding the stick against John Tavares|
|Ryan Malone Roughing against Zenon Konopka|
|Steven Stamkos Cross checking against Nino Niederreiter|
|Jon Sim Roughing against Matt Smaby|
|Trevor Gillies Cross checking against Matt Smaby|
|Vincent Lecavalier Tripping against Matt Moulson|
|Zenon Konopka Boarding against Ryan Malone|
|Pavel Kubina Tripping against Blake Comeau|
|SA: 30||TOI: 61:56|
|Saves: 28||EV: 21 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .933||SH: 2 - 2|
|SA: 25||TOI: 61:56|
|Saves: 22||EV: 19 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 4|
|SV%: .880||SH: 0 - 0|