Devils 3: Islanders 7
Sean Bergenheim, until the very last second, worked his tail off.
Nudging the puck past Brian Rolston to himself, he streaked down the ice and, with seven-tenths of a second left, shot a laser from practically no angle that hit the top of the net and gave him his first career hat trick, ratcheting the score up to 7-3.
7-3! Can you believe that?
Neither can I, but it was largely thanks to the young players- Bergenheim, Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo and Jeff Tambellini, as well as Blake Comeau, Jesse Joensuu and newly recalled Mike Iggulden, who got two assists today (his first two points as an Islander in his second pro game). Although a veteran did start off the scoring (Radek Martinek), the kids took over. Kyle Okposo scored his first goal in quite a while on the PP at 10:59 off a nice feed from Josh Bailey. Then Jeff Tambellini made the score 3-0 (and that's his second in three games!). They did it all with speed, strength, and incredible back pressure when the Devils attempted to break out of their zone.
Although Brian Gionta dampened the crowd's enthusiasm a bit when he scored at the :29 mark of the second on a redirection, Bergenheim got them right back into it with his first goal at 1:40, flipping the puck in on a rebound by Iggulden. Jamie Langenbrunner made the score 4-2 as Joey MacDonald allowed a rebound right in front that he was able to put away. Langenbrunner, however, would also be the culprit who took the penalty that Blake Comeau scored on (and Bailey had the incredible assist on once more). They were doing everything right, and making one of the elite in the NHL, Martin Brodeur, look like mincemeat.
The third period found Kevin Weekes in net, and the Devils attempted to come back. Patrik Elias scored another PP goal, the Devils' last, and the Isles took a few more penalties in this period (including two consecutive delay of game penalties, aka the most pointless penalty in the world). Weekes, who allowed no goals, was pulled with three and a half minutes left, on the first power play, but nothing worked for the Devs. Then, Bergie powered forward and stole the show, making me jump up and down in the living room and my dog, Moby, believe I was playing with him. Hey, look at that- Bergie even makes dogs cheer for him!
The Isles scored their highest number of goals since two years ago (7-4 win over the New York Rangers on November 3, 2006) and had perhaps their best and strongest game this season, which somewhat dulls the bad news that Trent Hunter is now out for the season with an ankle injury. Another player down means the roster only gets younger, and for now, at least, that's great news.
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!!
Notes: Jesse Joensuu was the second Islander in five years to score a goal in his debut... The Devils outshot the Isles 38-28...Iggulden got the third star of the game with 12:27 TOI and his two assists.
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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.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Devils 3: Islanders 7