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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Hockey Was Great...


The sound of the horn blaring after last night's game was a sweet sound, as it signaled the end of the Islanders' losing streak and home-game winless streak with a win over the Flyers, 4-3. Rick DiPietro let up 3 goals but made 26 saves, a few of them great ones, and Ruslan Fedotenko scored what became the game-winner in a game that, it seems now, the Isles were building up for- after a mediocre game that they lost (Anaheim), a better game that they could have won (Pittsburgh), and an even better one that they got a point out of (Minnesota).

Trent Hunter started it off with a garbage goal late in the first period, which the Flyers got back with Daniel Briere's 21st on the season early in the second (PP), that came off of a rebound with a sprawled DiPietro facing entirely the wrong way. Then came Jeff Tambellini, who kept the play in Philly's zone and let a rocket loose just past Antero Niittymaki's right pad, putting the Isles up 2-1. The Isles threw 47 shots at the net, 43 of which were saves by a strong Niittymaki, but he couldn't hold up forever, as Sean Bergenheim scored yet another goal while falling on his backside, for his sixth of the season.

Scott Hartnell would score in the second, and just after Fedotenko's goal, Joffrey Lupul would pull to within one late in the third, but the 7-game curse would be over and done with, and with the win, hopefully, will come a string of more, as the playoff push is fast coming, and to pull closer to the race, the Isles will have to win quite a few more games to even with the Rangers. That seven-game losing streak took the team a ways away from everyone else in the division (we're now eight points behind Philly and six points behind the Rangers), so to be considered a contender, the Isles have to stay strong.

That said... MSG takes to naming their Top Performers of the Week for all three local teams, and this week was Mike Comrie's special mention- and with reason; 2 goals in the Pittsburgh game and 2 assists in the game against the Wild makes him a definite factor in the last couple of games. Honorable mention on my behalf would go to Sean Bergenheim, who has two goals in two games (and would have had a game winner had Brian Rolston not popped out of nowhere), and also Jeff Tambellini, whose effort and offensive hustle has paid off in his first goal of the season last night.

Injury notes: Bruno Gervais was out last night with an oblique injury, and Brendan Witt left the game in the first period with a knee sprain (likely to be re-evaluated today), leaving some holes in the defense yet again. Let's hope Witt's injury isn't serious.

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