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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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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Isles Sweep Back-to-Back Matinee Games

Coyotes 2: Islanders 3

The kids are quite all right on the Island.

Jeff Tambellini scored his third goal in four games, and Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey also scored as the Isles hung on over the Coyotes, 3-2. Yann Danis tied his career-high save total with 40, and Mark Streit also had a great game.

The game opened with a goal by Scottie Upshall in the first period, and the Coyotes, who came out with a strong forecheck and some good saves by rookie goalie Josh Tordjman, were able to hang onto this lead until the second period. The Isles, who were lacking the intensity they had in the previous game against the Devils, needed to create their own energy now, and create they did in the second, as Tambellini deflected a rebound by Andy Hilbert in front at 2:44. He's been getting better and better as time goes on, and at the moment, he is oozing confidence and doing everything right.

Josh Bailey also has been doing very well. He'd only been tallying assists up to this point, but on a 2-on-1, Mike Iggulden fired a shot that rebounded off of Tordjman's right pad that went right to Bailey, who put it home very easily. It was a great goal, and also gave Iggulden three points in two games (all helpers). The way these youngsters just getting called up from Bridgeport have been performing is amazing- as though they really want to stay here. Iggulden, Jesse Joensuu- no matter who it is, they just have been working hard every shift and making it clear they want to stay here. Kyle Okposo, meanwhile, had tempered off a bit in the last few, but carried over his goalscoring touch from yesterday by putting home yet another (his 14th) off a great centering pass by Dean McAmmond. 3-1 Isles, and the crowd was now into it, as well as the players.

In the third, though, Phoenix came out ready to strike, and were given the opportunity to with a 5-on-3 power play chance (one of two today). Danis came up big, making several key stops including a wonderful pad save on Shane Doan. Although the Coyotes thought they'd scored on a goal that went in as the net came off its moorings, the play was overturned on video review. Doan did eventually get his 24th of the year late in the third, but it didn't matter much afterward: Frans Nielsen won a key draw from the best faceoff center on the Coyotes, Matthew Lombardi, and the game ended with the Isles on top once more.

Notes: Every Islander had at least one hit in this game, and the Isles outhit Phoenix 36-30... This was the last game of Brendan Witt's 5-game suspension! He returns March 10 at Toronto...Martinek, Streit, and McAmmond were once again your As, with Trent Hunter out for the rest of the season (ankle)...Sean Bergenheim yesterday was the youngest Isle to score a hat trick since Dave Scatchard! Nice job, Bergie.

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