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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, November 5, 2008

Joey Mac, Isles Parade on Election Night

Islanders 2: Rangers 1

Barack Obama won the election, but the Islanders won the War of the Garden this time around.

Joey MacDonald was the story of the night, practically stating a case for himself to be President (at least for Isles fans) in a stellar performance that shut out the Rangers until the last five minutes of the game. On top of that, two shorthanded goals in the third period after a parade to the sin bin lifted the Isles to a 2-1 victory over their cross-town rivals, the Rangers, who have the biggest amount of points coming into this game.

The first period was, in sharp contrast to earlier games between these teams, a feeling-out period, with the Rangers tentative and the Isles almost lethargic, perhaps from the drain of the previous night's win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Although scoreless and largely uneventful, the Rangers took the majority of shots, and that carried over into the second period, where at one point the shot total was 25-10, Blueshirts. That speaks volumes about both the quality of shots they were taking and the play of MacDonald, whose best save of the night was a glove snap on Michal Roszival in the second. Overall, however, save for his heroics, this was a rare game in which nothing happened, and compared to election coverage, hockey in New York was actually boring.

Then the Isles- the Isles!- broke out finally in the third, on a rush by Frans Nielsen and Nate Thompson. Nielsen took the initial shot, which a solid Henrik Lundqvist stopped, but as he went down and the puck remained in the air, Thompson, displaying great hand-eye coordination, swatted the puck in out of midair. Five minutes later, Richard Park, the PK specialist, drove it home to score the Islanders' 6th shortie of the year, and his second. Play got feisty late into it as the Rangers turned on the after-burners, and would get a goal to cut the lead to 2-1, a dribbler off the stick of Markus Naslund. But a tough PK and impenetrable defense shut the door, and the Isles left MSG with a 2-game win streak. They look to carry the strong play over to tomorrow night's game at Atlanta, where the Thrashers are in dire straits, although coming off a strong win against Florida 5-3.


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