In the only meeting of the season between the Islanders and the Anaheim Ducks, it was the Ducks who were able to capitalize on mistakes and beat the visitors 4-2 at the Honda Center.
The Ducks surge began in the third period with a shorthanded goal from Bobby Ryan, his second tally of the night. Breaking into the offensive zone, Ryan beat Kyle Okposo and Andrew MacDonald before deking goaltender Evgeni Nabokov at 9:22, tying it at 2.
“It’s a tough way to lose,” Okposo said. “We were up 2-1 in the third period and we still want to push our offense, but we gave up a shortie. Albeit, against a very skilled player, and he made a highly skilled play, but we have to respond after that and we didn’t. They did. That was the difference in this game.”
Ryan’s linemate, Ryan Getzlaf, put the Ducks ahead for good at 12:25 with both teams down a man. He roofed the puck over Nabokov’s shoulder with his backhand to make it 3-2.
“We really didn’t have much trouble until the third period,” Islanders forward Brian Rolston said. “They ended up getting a 4-on-4 goal. I thought we played them pretty tight all night, but we just gave up that one 4-on-4 goal to (Ryan) Getzlaf and that was a tough one.”
Teemu Selanne netted the final goal of the night with a one-timer that went five-hole at 17:06.
The Islanders outshot the Ducks 8-3 in the first period and hit three posts, but wouldn’t find the back of the net to keep the game scoreless through the first. Ryan scored his first goal of the night at 14:18 of the second period, just seconds after the Ducks power play ended, giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
“We had some really good chances,” Rolston said. “In the first period, I hit the post twice and had a couple good opportunities. We were just snake bit there a little in the first.”
Matt Martin knocked in a loose puck at 16:04 to even the score at one. It truly was a slow-motion style goal as the puck paused on the goal line for a couple seconds during commotion in the crease before Martin tapped it in.
“It was a shot from the point and poked it at the net,” Martin said. “It got the stuck at the goal line, I was wondering how I was going to get at it. Luckily I got my stick on it before he (Hiller) was able to cover it up.”
Okposo made it 2-1 as he converted a pass from John Tavares with his one-timer right at the top of the crease at 6:20 of the third.
PA Parenteau had multiple opportunities throughout the night, including one change to give the Isles a two-goal lead by burying a shot on Jonas Hiller low glove side by rushing toward the crease, but the Ducks netminder made a solid play to stop the Isles forward.
“We had our chances to put it away,” Parenteau said. “We played a strong game besides a few shifts in the third. It’s unfortunate. We had a good thing going right now. These are the games we have to win… The good thing is we have another game tomorrow, right away.”
The Islanders faceoff against the Phoenix Coyotes at 8 p.m. Saturday night.
1 - 0 ANA
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 NYI
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 ANA