Islanders Contiune Winning Ways Against Detroit
The New York Islanders continued their winning streak against the Red Wings tonight with a 5-1 victory. The Islanders coming into the game have had a 4-0-1 record against Detroit since the lock-out.
The first period started quickly as both teams were up and down the ice exchanging chances. Nabokov, starting in his 9th straight game was up to task along with his counterpart Ty Conklin for the Red Wings. Grabner continued his struggling on the break away early as he was stopped on an early chance that Conklin got just enough of to deflect wide. The first power play of the game went to the Red Wings as Jurcina took a minor penalty for high sticking. This lead to a save of the year candidate for Nabokov as he made a diving cross crease stop with his stick with just about 17 seconds left in the penalty.
The score remained tied until late in the period when Mark Stuart of the Red Wings took two minor penalties for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct which lead to 4 minutes of power play time for the Islanders. On the front-end of the two penalties Matt Moulson looked to pass the puck to Tavares in the front of the net but it found the skate of Miller in front and entered the back of the net. This was Moulson’s 19th of the season and was assisted by Parenteau and Streit on the power play. Near the close of the period Andrew MaDonald took a roughing penalty that negated the res t of the Islanders power play and turned it into a 4 on 4 situation. The Islanders put a ton of pucks on the net in the first period, 17 shots and this is the highest number of shots in a period for the Islanders this season.
The second period started with Detroit putting on heavy pressure to start the period and holding the Islanders to minimal chances and shots. This still didn’t stop the Islanders as with their second shot of the period John Tavares took a beautiful wrist shot over Conklin’s shoulder to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. It was Tavares 14th of the season and came off a nice drop pass from Kyle Okposo who is finding himself a nice comfortable home on a line with Tavares and Moulson. His good play on the line continued at 11:10 of the second period as he was able to score his 9th of the season on a great 2 on 1 break with Tavares. This was Okposo’s 3rd goal in his last 4 games which is a good streak for a player that was really struggling at the start of the season. The Islander’s hot shooting continued when Grabner was broken free by Matt Martin for a break away that he was able to finish for his 11th goal of the season. A collective sigh of relief was heard all over Long Island as his struggles on the breakaway are well known. The Islanders didn’t take many shots in the period but when you are shooting 75% who needs many shots. (The Islanders scored 3 goals on 4 shots in the period)
The Islanders started the third period with a 4-0 lead; the Islanders are 9-1-3 this season when taking a lead into the third. Detroit looked to gain momentum early when a shot from the point by Jakub Kindl was deflected in by Justin Abdelkader for his 5th of the season. The Islanders were able to withstand pressure from the Red Wings as the period continued. Matt Moulson put the icing on the cake as he tipped in a shot by Mark Streit from the point. This gave the Islanders a 5-1 lead that they would hold on too.
The Islanders had a lot of positives coming from this game as they were able to dominate a very good team. One group that stood out to me was that of Matt Martin. Josh Bailey, and Michael Grabner. The line was creating chances all over the ice and look to be a good line that I would like to see stay together.
Link’s Three Stars of the Game
3.) Matt Moulson: With 2 goals and 1 assist tonight Matt Moulson continues his great season in which he is on pace for over 40 goals.
2.) John Tavares: He also had a three point night with a goal and two assists. His talent keeps growing and he seems to keep getting better and better with every game he plays.
1.) Evgeni Nabokov: In his 9th straight start for the Islanders Nabokov was terrific making 23 saves and two that should be added to his highlight reel. He was critical in the early stages of the game when the game was tied and he played strong to give the Islanders to blow the game open.
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