Isles’ Thunder Past Lightning 5-1
John Madonia on Fri, 2011-10-14 00:40
Dwayne Roloson’s shutout bid was over, Victor Hedman hand wrapped the Islanders first goal, and John Tavares was on his way to a four-point night.
And this was just the first 36 seconds of the game.
The Isles’ scored four goals in the first period and coasted to a 5-1 over the listelss Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tavares took advantage of a huge error from Hedman. After Roloson gloved down the initial shot from Taveras, Hedman tried to swat the rebound away and accidentally knocked the puck into his own net to give the Isles a 1-0 lead.
The Lightning’s only excitement of the evening was a fluke goal off a slap shot from Marc-Andre Bergeron that was redirected by Steve Stamkos before trickling past Al Montoya at 7:10 of the 1st period. The goal was initially credited to Bergeron but was changed before the start of the third period.
It was all New York from there. Matt Moulson gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead at 9:28 pouncing on a scum in front of Roloson for his first tally of the year at 9:28. Tavares finished off a beautiful passing display from P.A Parenteau and Moulson to net the Isles a 3-1 lead, and Parenteau converted a feed from Tavares to complete the opening period rout from the Isles.
Roloson looked stunned as he left the ice for the intermission, and was a surprise starter for the second period. His night was over less than seven minutes into the period when Michael Grabner tapped in a rebound of a Kyle Okposo’s shot that had trickled over the Lightning goalie. Mathieu Garon replaced Roloson and stopped all 16 shots he saw.
Roloson, in his return to Long Island, yielded five goals on 18 shots and never looked comfortable in his return.
For the third straight game, Al Montoya was in goal, only this time Evgeni Nabakov served at his backup. Rick DiPietro was struck in the mask by a Brian Rolston shot in practice Wednesday and has undergone various testing to rule out any head related injuries. He is to be re-evaluated Friday and was scratched.
Montoya had 34 saves but was really never under siege. He was solid after giving up the soft goal in the 1st and continued to take advantage of his opportunity.
Tavares searched for a hat-trick, but he cramped up in the third period and was held out for the rest of the game. He told the media that he was "perfectly fine."
Ryan Strome had a hat-trick in his first junior game for Niagara. He was sent back to Juniors earlier in the day. Roloson also gave up five goals on Monday vs Washington. Dating back to last season, the Islanders have won 4 out of 5 meetings with Tampa Bay. Andrew MacDonald led the team in TOI with 23:29. Parenteau and Tavares were both a +4. Islanders were outshot 35-34.
This was the best Islanders game since 2002, hands down. From start to finish they were the better team. They were able to rattle Roloson early and often and never allowed the Lightning to bring any pressure. Stamkos and Martin St. Louis were essentially invisible throughout, a credit to another stalwart performance by the Isles’ d-men.
Montoya was solid in net again; it's his job to lose at this point. He is a shoo-in to play against the rival New York Rangers Saturday night. That will be the biggest test so far for him as the Rangers are coming into Saturdays’ game a desperate, hungry team looking for their 1st win of the season.
The Rangers pose an interesting challenge for the Isles’. They have two top scoring lines and boast one of the best defensemen tandems in Dan Girardi and Mark Staal. Of course King Henrik is the backbone in goal. It will be a great game for the fans, and we will have it covered here on Thecheckingline.com!