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The New York Islanders fell to the New Jersey Devils in a Martin Luther King Jr day matinee at the Nassau Coliseum. While poor officiating did not help the Islanders case, a slow start and poor play did them in.

 The first period started off like many others for the Islanders, allowing their opponent to score in the early moments of the game. Vladimir Zharkov back handed one past a sprawled out Kevin Poulin to give the Devils the early advantage. Less than a minute after the goal Jack Hillen would go to the box for hooking setting up the Devils for a two minute power play. The Devils would take full advantage of the power play just 13 seconds into the power play. Ilya Kovalchuck blasted a shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Kevin Poulin stick side and gave the Devils the two goal advantage.  Zenon Konopka and Matt Martin both dropped the gloves during the first period, but other than that the rest of the first was a lackluster and sloppy.

The Second period did start off well for the Islanders either. Six minutes in New Jersey’s Mattias Tedenby undressed the Islanders defensemen and scored on an impressive play to give the Devils a three goal lead. Four minutes later the Islanders finally responded when Blake Comeau chipped the puck up the board, squeezed past a Devils defenseman and fed PA Parenteau in front of the net to bring the Isles within two. Less than a minute later Michael Grabner beat Brodeur to bring the Islanders back within one of the Devils.

However that would be the closest the Islanders would come to tying the game. At 16:59 of the second period Rod Pelley beat Kevin Poulin and a minute later Dainius Zubrus scored to put the Devils ahead 5-2.

Then with 1:29 left in the second period controversy ensued at Nassau Coliseum. As Michael Grabner drove to the net Mark Fayne shoved Grabner into Devil’s goalie Martin Brodeur. Brodeur fell to the ice while play was still going and PA Parenteau put the puck into the back of the net to cut the Devils lead to two, or so they thought. While the play was originally ruled a goal a fuming Brodeur charged to the officials to make his case for goaltender interference and subsequently the officials gathered to rethink the call. Eventually the goal was overturned and the point was taken off the board. The Islanders’ broadcast reported that trail Referee Bill McCreary was the official who spotted incidental contact on Grabner and overruled the referee closest to the play.

Several other calls were missed by the officiating crew including one or two high sticks that enraged Islanders fans, who were already fuming over the no goal call.

The Islanders could not regain momentum after the PA Parenteau goal was waived off. The Islanders fell to the Devils by the final score of 5-2.

Notes

-Kevin Poulin stopped 22 of 27 shots and had a save percentage of .815%. Brodeur stopped 27 of 29 shots and had a save percentage .931%.

-Islanders defensemen Milan Jurcina left the game in the first period with an upper body injury.

-Announced attendance was 13,119.