Eaton plays the hero in his 600th career game
The Islanders made their first visit to Ottawa this season and were able to battle all game and come away with an important victory to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The game started slow with both teams going up and down the ice with not many chances generated. Nabokov was called on early in the period but the defense did a good job making sure most shot were from the outside and easily visible. The Islanders got a power play chance at 10:26 when former Islander Zenon Konopka took a hooking penalty. The first power play unit of Tavares, Moulson, Parenteau, Nielsen and Streit was very good creating several chances but unable to put them away. The second power play unit had some trouble but I like the group Capuano put together, the line was Rakhshani, Bailey, Neiderreiter, Okposo and MacDonald. The Islanders were unable to connect on the first power play but still kept the pressure up. It was a strong first period for the Islanders who outshot the Senators 14 to 8.
The 2nd period showed a lot more pressure from the Senators and an Islanders team struggling to keep up. Early in the period Ottawa controlled play by not allowing the Islanders to truly set up in the offensive zone and keeping the play in the Islanders zone. Okposo took the Islanders first penalty of the game at 7:25 of the period when he got 2 minutes for high sticking. The Islanders were able to kill the penalty off without allowing many chances and had great play from Matt Martin who lost his stick early in the kill. The Islanders went back to the power play late in the period when Carkner took a roughing penalty. The Islanders were able to create some chances but the Senators had the best play on the penalty kill when Zack Smith was able to break the scoreless tie. He carried the puck into the Islanders zone and took a shot from the left circle that deflected off of Nabokov’s glove and into the net. This is only the 4th shorthanded goal the Islanders allowed this season. Ottawa would take their 1-0 lead into the dressing room along with the momentum.
The Islanders came out in the 3rd period with a little more urgency in their game trying to tie the game. It paid off in a game tying goal from Matt Martin. The play started in the Islanders own end when Martin feed the puck to Parenteau and he carried it into the offensive zone and found Martin again, who was able to put it in the net. It was Martin’s 6th goal of the season and Parenteau’s 35th assist of the season. The game would continue to be back and forth for the remainder of the period with both goaltenders playing solid games. The Islanders battled hard and were able to force overtime.
The overtime started with Tavares putting a lot of pressure on the net including ringing one off the post. The game would come to a close when on an offensive rush Parenteau found Jurcina who faked a shot and found Mark Eaton who was able to score off a spin-o-rama move. Eaton who was playing in his 600th career NHL game was the unlikely hero to close out the game. The goal also ended Mark’s streak of 121 games without a goal.
Overall it was an up and down game for the Islanders who showed a lot of heart to come back in the 3rd period and then win the game in overtime. The Islanders finished the game leading in shots 32-24 and got help from Nabokov playing solid in net all game and finishing with 23 saves. This is an important win for the Islanders as they keep gaining points for the playoff race.
Link’s three stars of the game:
3. Matt Martin: Playing his standard hard nose intense style of hockey all night and rewarded himself and his team with an important game tying goal.
2. PA Parenteau: The under rated winger continues his great play this season increasing his assist total to 36 on the season and helping set up both goals.
1. Mark Eaton: Playing in his 600th career game the stay at home defenseman decided to join the offensive side of the ice and win an important game for the Islanders.
As always thanks for reading and be ready to go again tomorrow night when Buffalo makes a visit to Long Island.
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