Predators 3: Islanders 4 (SO)
Well, it took a couple of call-ups and Martin Biron in net to do it, but the Islanders finally pulled off a win!
Now, that's not entirely fair, I know, and it did happen in the shootout, but a win is a win, and they did it in typical Islander style. Freddy Meyer got things going, receiving a great pass from Rob Schremp and blasting it past Pekka Rinne. After that, the Predators thought they had scored on the "shot" of Patric Hornqvist; however, video review showed that there was a distinct kicking motion made to push the puck through the five-hole on Biron. The Predators would tie it anyway, as Biron had trouble holding onto the initial shot by Ryan Jones, letting it pop up into the air, and then as he fell back into the net, Cal O'Reilly received the rebound and put it over the goal line.
Two minutes later, Nashville took the lead. The Isles got caught on a line change, and Jerred Smithson hit Joel Ward for a breakaway, which he scored on. Andy Sutton proceeded to smash his stick apart on the crossbar after the goal, frustrated that he wasn't able to get to Ward. Bruno Gervais got the tying goal on a 5-on-3 with 57 seconds left in the period.
Four minutes into the third, Steve Sullivan got a one-timer past Biron just seconds after a 5-on-3 for the Predators had ended. After that, the Isles tried their best, but Rinne made some great saves to keep the score in his team's favor. It wasn't until Martin Erat took a bad penalty for boarding John Tavares that New York finally broke through.
Martin Biron had dashed to the bench, giving the Islanders a 6-on-4 advantage. Newly recalled Matt Martin passed to Mark Streit at the blueline, who took his time lining up the shot, then let loose, ripping it past Rinne with 11.1 seconds left in the third period to tie it at 3. Streit isn't one to show much emotion when he scores, but no doubt he and his teammates were feeling all sorts of relief for the tying goal.
Overtime produced nothing, so on the game went to a shootout. First came Frans Nielsen, who smoothly gave the Isles the lead in the skills competition with his signature backhand deke. Then Biron stopped Sullivan and David Legwand before attempting a risky pokecheck in the third round on Erat, which kept the Preds alive. In the extra round, John Tavares lifted the puck over Rinne's right pad, and then Biron stopped Hornqvist to seal the deal. JT got the first star, but credit Streit with the tying goal, Biron with the great saves in the shootout (winning his first start since December!) and Meyer for being an all-around demon defensively on the ice, as well as scoring a goal.
The Isles don't have time to savor this one, however, as they travel to Pittsburgh for a game tonight against the Penguins- permitted the weather allows. It's coming down out there right now as I type, and Pitt's already been hit with the "Snowpocalypse," as they're calling it, so who knows what's going to happen for tonight. If the game goes as planned, however, we're talking a 7:30 start, 7:00 pregame on MSG Plus 2. It's the Isles' fourth time playing the Pens, and the second matchup at Mellon Arena. We already know what to expect- the big guns, Crosby, Malkin, and Staal, among others, will be ready to go after having a couple of days off. The Isles have to fight fatigue and avoid a "hangover" after this morale-boosting win.
LET'S GO ISLANDERS!!
Notes: Martin had two assists and three hits, factoring in pretty darn well... Jeff Tambellini and Doug Weight were healthy scratches for tonight, while Rick DiPietro dressed as backup instead of Dwayne Roloson... the Isles were 2-6 on the power play last night, a very big improvement... last time the Preds visited the Islanders was Oct. 16, 2006, and they won 2-1 in (you guessed it) a shootout.
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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.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Predators 3: Islanders 4 (SO)