In the first period Ilya Kovalchuck blasted a wrist shot from the hash marks of the right hand side face-off circle to give the Devils an early 1-0 lead. The next goal wouldn’t come until 3:23 of the second period. Jacob Josefson slipped the puck past Rick Dipietro when he lost sight of the rebound from Nick Palmieri’s shot.
At 7:47 of the third period, Mark Katic was called for high stick and received a double minor. Replay later showed that it was the puck, not Katic’s stick, that hit Mark Fraser in the face.
However, it was the Islanders and not the Devils who would capitalize on the Islander penalty. With about 2:29 left in the Katic penalty, Frans Nielson intercepted a poor Devils pass in neutral ice. Nielson raced into the Devils zone and used, his now famous, back hand move to beat Martin Brodeur and make it 2-1 game. It would be Nielson’s seventh shorthanded goal, tying him with Islanders great Bob Bourne.
With 6:16 remaining in the game Frans Nielson came through again for the Islanders. Frans Nielson managed to push the puck past Brodeur as three Islander players crashed the net. The goal was initially reviewed, but later ruled a good goal.
And just as fast as the Islanders tied up the game, New Jersey quickly found a way to respond. A little under two minutes later Andy Greene took a shot from the left hand face-off circle that beat Rick Dipietro and would prove to be the game winning goal.
The Islanders have a quick turnaround; they take on the New York Rangers at the Nassau Coliseum Thursday Night.
-Trevor Gillie played in his first game since being suspended for his on Cal Clutterbuck. Gillies only saw 5:15 of action against the Devils.
-Michael Grabner missed the game to be with his girlfriend, who went into labor with the couple’s first child.
-The New York Islanders outshot the Devils in the Wednesday night game, 29-20.
-Rick Dipietro stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced against the Devils. While Martin Brodeur 27 of 29 shots he faced.
-Official attendance at the Prudential Center was 16,252.
-Prior to the game, Islanders beat write Katie Strang reported the Islanders were one of several teams being considered by free agent defensemen Stephane De Costa out of Merrimack College.
-Prior to the game, The Islanders and prospect Matt Donavan agreed to terms on an entry level contract. The entry deal does not kick in until next season and Donavan will finish the season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on an amateur tryout contract.]]>
Since joining the Islanders he has really found his own and become a solid 1A goaltender in the organization. As it stands he is 8-4-4 in 17 games with a goals against average of 2.35 and a save percentage of .923. Not to mention Montoya’s play in crucial situation, at tmes making miraculous saves.
The one year extension is a win-win for both the organization and the player. The Islanders have been known to have an unstable goaltending situation this season. During one game the Isles had to rush Joel Martin to Long Island from Bridgeport in the middle of a game. Also the team has seen injuries decimate their stock of goaltenders, which includes Nathan Lawson Kevin Poulin and, of course, Rick Dipietro.
With the signing the Islanders have ensured themselves that they have a solid 1A type goaltender heading into next season. A netminder who has proven he can step up to the challenge should Rick Dipietro go down with another injury next season. Also giving the Islanders the ability to allow rookie goaltenders, such as Kevin Poulin, the time needed to mature and grow in the AHL. With Montoya locked up for next season the Isles do not have to worry about finding a back up or 1A goalie during free agency and prevents them from having to start the season with Kevin Poulin riding the bench with team instead of getting playing time with the Sound Tigers.
For Montoya he has another year to prove himself in the NHL. He did sign a one way contract virtually guaranteeing he will start the season on the Islanders roster, if his play on the ice this season didn’t already warrant it. He will have the stability he desired and the opportunity to help make the Islanders into a playoff.
Bringing Al Montoya back was one of the best decisions the Islanders have made so far and the team has a very capable player locked up for at least another season.]]>
The Thrashers come into the game off an 8-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the HSBC Arena Saturday night. The Thrashers are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and slowly seeing their chances of making the playoff slip away.
The last matchup between these two teams was back on February 1 when they defeated Atlanta 4-1. The previous two matchups were Thrasher wins, an overtime winner in Atlanta back on November 21 and a memorable night back on December 11 when thousands of Quebec Nordiques fans came down in protest for a team. The Thrashes wound up coming back and winning 5-4 at the Nassau Coliseum.
For the Islanders it will be Al Montoya in net against Atlanta tonight. The 26 year old net minder is 8-3-4 since joining the Islanders on February 11. He is tied with Rick Dipietro for the team lead in wins with 8 and has a .922 save percentage.
Montoya has been huge for the Islanders since arriving on Long Island, including making a huge save against the Tampa Bay Lightning. “It’s big when you have a guy that gives you a chance to win,” PA Parenteau said of Al Montoya. “We have a lot of confidence in him right now. He’s playing solid hockey, he’s in the zone. It’s big for the team and big for the last stretch of the year. “
For the Thrashers Chris mason will get the nod in net for tonight’s game. Last game Ondrej Pavelec started, but was pulled after one period and replaced by Chris Mason. Pavelec. Chris Mason is 10-10-3 with an .892 save percentage.
Morning Skate video
Seeing Old Friends
The Islanders players enter a unique situation facing former teammates in back to games; Dwayne Roloson in Tampa and now Rob Schremp with Atlanta Thrasher.
The former Islander waiver claim was, ironically, claimed by the Thrashers after the Islanders placed the struggling forward on waivers. Since joining the Thrashers Schremp has one goal in nine games with the Thrashers and will start at the center position against the Islanders tonight.
While Schremp has no grudge against the team that waived him, he is excited to get to prove to them what he can do.
“It should be fun,” Schremp told the Atlanta Journal Constitution Wednesday. “I was just there a month ago. There will be a lot of energy going into the game. They had my rights and they put me on waivers. It’s a chance to go back and play against them and prove what I can do at the NHL level.
For the Islanders they too were looking forward to this matchup and had nothing but good things to say about their former teammate.
“It’s a little bit weird seeing him on the other side of the hallway, but it’s going to be fun tonight,” Kyle Okposo said after the morning skate. “We know how his game is; he’s obviously a very skilled player. So we’re excited to get the opportunity to play against him.”
“It’s always a little tougher, you have friends on the other side,” PA Parenteau added this morning. “But when the puck drops there are no friends anymore and you want to do your best. I’m sure he’ll do well tonight. He’s a good hockey player, he has a lot of skills and I wish him the best.”
Islanders head coach jack Capuano also acknowledged Schremp’s skill and usefulness in game situations.
“Robbie is a tremendously skilled player,” Capuano started off saying. He’s going to give you that power play strength when you need him. The only thing in my discussions with Robbie here was just continue to get to the paint and get to those gritty areas and try not to stay on the perimeter so much. Robbie is a great teammate, he’s a good friend and we wish him the best and he’s defiantly got some good offensive instincts for sure.”
Mark Streit Shut Down for the Rest of the Season
The islanders announced today that they were officially shutting down injured defensemen Mark Streit for the season. Streit has made strides to making a comeback, but doctors could not clear the Swedish defenseman to return to play.
He had also mentioned that he wanted to make an attempt at playing in the Worlds, but that also looks to be in serious jeopardy.
@Capuanos_Hair was set up after one lifelong Islanders fan saw the season turn from bad to Bizarre. “I created it the day we all learned how Evgeni Nabokov hung up on Garth Snow,” Not Jack Capuano, the name which is in his byline, said in an email response. “That was the moment the season officially went from bad to bizarre. Suddenly everything was funny, even the coach’s hair.”
Since then “Not Jack Capuano” has documented Islander excursions ranging from a nightmarish trip up the New Jersey Turnpike to more recently documenting a day in Walt Disney world. All tweets using the scope that the Islanders players are a group of kids and Capuano is a father like figure.
“I started imaging the players as little kids and Jack Capuano as a kind of coach/foster parent. I tweeted: ‘Cleaned out my car this morning in case I have to pick up Nabby. Mostly Matt Martin's crayons and juice boxes. Glad it's a rental.”
So where does @Capuanos_Hair come up with all of his crazy scenarios?
“A lot come from just imaging the players as little kids, and running with that,” the fake Capuano tweeter responded with. “Some come out of team news. And a few tweets get prompted by readers. One day @
And it’s not only a one person affair; his wife even helps out with the account.
“My wife started getting into the spirit of the thing and came up with a couple of those tweets and she was all over the Disney adventure, Not Jack Capuano said in the email. “ She hates hockey. But she loves @Capuanos_Hair.”
With the Islanders season winding down and the real Jack Capuano’s future as head coach still uncertain @Capuanos_Hair has no intention of slowing down with the tweets and hopes that the interim head coach returns for next season.
“I have no plans to stop, although the summer could be a challenge for material. I hope as a fan and as @Capuanos_Hair that he’ll be back behind the bench next year. He’s earned it.
Make sure to follow him: @Capuanos_Hair]]>
Tampa Bay jumped out early, Nate Thompson scored just 1:01 into the game for the Lightning. The Lightning lead lasted until the 10:22 mark, where Josh Bailey buried the puck in a virtual empty net during an Islanders power play chance.
The Islanders continued the scoring in the second period as both Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin would score and put the Isles ahead 3-1 by the end of the second period. Okposo scored after he redirected a shot from the point by Milan Jurcina past Dwayne Roloson. Matt Martin scored on a nice move getting in front of Dwayne Roloson’s net and putting the back hander past the former Islander.
The third began with the Isles continuing the scoring even when they were on the penalty kill. With Blake Comeau in the penalty box for high sticking, Frans Nielson had a shorthanded breakaway. Nielson lost control of the puck, picked it back up and then fired a shot past Dwayne Roloson to make it 4-1 Islanders. Tampa would get It back quickly Dominic Moore would score on 5 on 3 opportunity to make it a 4-2 game. Michael Grabner sealed the deal for the Islanders when he hit an empty net goal with the game winding down to the final seconds.
Tonight the Islanders did a lot of things right against a very good Tampa team. Their penalty kill unit stepped up big time tonight scoring two shorthanded goals and raising the total to 16 shorthanded goals on the season. As well Frans Nielson moved his total to six shorthanded goals on the season bringing him one goal shy of tying Bob Bourne’s Islanders record.
Al Montoya was also huge in net for the Islanders when they needed it the most. Montoya stopped 36 of 38 shots he faced against the Lightning. Also making a big save stopping the puck with his stick before it could cross the goal line.
While there was not too much “bad” tonight, there was one thing that the Islanders did that could have hurt them badly; The Islanders took to many penalties in the third period. To be specific, the Isles took seven penalties in the third, although two of which were coincidental minors, it still gave the Lightning plenty of chances to make a comeback. Especially after Dominic Moore score to make it a two goal game.
Tampa Bay Post Game Video