Devils 0: Islanders 4
The week prior to this game was a flurry of activism, of gung-ho fans eager to show their support for Charles Wang's Lighthouse, encouraging everyone to wear white on Town of Hempstead Night to show TOH head Kate Murray just how badly they need a new arena.
Last night, unfortunately, it looked as though the word had barely gotten out, even though Chris Botta himself advocated the move on his own blog, Islanders Point Blank. That didn't stop the Isles, though, who built up a four-goal lead over three periods and thumped the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, at Nassau Coliseum.
The Devils have not been on their game as of late, and they have lost quite a few on the road. Tonight wasn't any different- although they played their usual free-flowing game and threw 40 shots at Yann Danis (who stopped all 40 for his career-high total), something was definitely missing- perhaps a physical edge that would have taken their game that much higher. Zach Parise was definitely present, but Danis gave him nothing, not even on what was perhaps the best chance of the night: a clear breakaway attempt that hit his pads.
Meanwhile, it was smooth sailing for the most part on the Isles' offense. First came Sean Bergenheim, who got a great feed from Mark Streit and put it away after being stopped by Scott Clemmensen on an earlier attempt. Then in the second, after a few chances by the Isles either missed or were stopped, Jon Sim scored his second in two games off of a bad giveaway by Mike Rupp in his own zone. 2-0 Islanders, and the fun was just beginning.
What got the Devils into trouble in the third period was definitely their penalties: three of them were taken in the third, including a 5-on-3 with David Clarkson in the box for four minutes, and then Brian Gionta going in for hooking. In that sequence. first Kyle Okposo scored on a great feed from behind the net from Blake Comeau. Then, on the 5-on-3, with Brendan Witt right smack in front of Clemmensen, Bill Guerin blasted one right past the goalie for the icing on the cake. (Christine said she called this one seconds before it happened, haha.) That capped off the win, and Danis' second career shutout. And although the Lighthouse wasn't well represented tonight, the Isles made up for that and more, rebounding very well off of a dismal 5-1 loss and playing perhaps one of their best games of the season.
Notes: In the second period, Okposo and Streit had a severely long shift: Streit was clocked at 2:47 on the ice, and Okie at 3:03... the Islanders snapped a 4-game losing streak against NJ... it is their first shutout since exactly one year ago, February 21, 2008, when Rick DiPietro shut out Tampa Bay 1-0 at the end of a great seven-game winning streak... hey, did you catch that awesome handoff from the equipment trainer to Jeff Tambellini when Tamby broke his stick? Didn't miss a beat. It's all in a day's work.
P.S. Today, February 22, 2009, marks the 29th anniversary of the USA Men's Olympic Hockey Team defeating the Russians, 4-3, in Lake Placid. I wasn't even born yet, but I know the story well, and I would like us all as hockey fans to take a moment today and pay homage to what is likely the greatest upset in all hockey history, when a bunch of college kids took down the immense red monster that was the Soviet Union. GO USA!
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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.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Devils 0: Islanders 4