Islanders Fight but Fall to Thrashers, 5-4
Uniondale, NY - The New York Islanders (5-17-5) fought hard but ultimately fell to the Atlanta Thrashers (16-11-3) in hockey action on Saturday night.
In front of 1,100 Nordique fans plus 10,050 overall the Islanders scraped and fought but were not able to tally the final goals needed to get the victory.
Those 1,100 fans of the Nordique Nation were in attendance in the hopes of brining a NHL franchise back to Quebec City. Whether it be through moving one of the struggling teams in existence in place or through expansion.
The Thrashers and Islanders are ranked 28th and 29th NHL in attendance this season and Cauchon and the rest of the Nordique Nation wanted to show that it is now time for Quebec City to get a chance at a NHL squad.
The energy in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum was noticed in what was a energetic and faced-paced first period. The first frame was a flurry of activity by both teams, including a New York Islanders 5-on-3 opportunity at the 12:04 mark as the team had a 5-on-3 offensive opportunity, but could not cash in.
Atlanta played some stellar defense in the first period of play blocking a total of 14 shots. Seven of those blocks came in a one minute span during the Islanders 5-on-3 opportunity. The Islanders eventually did cash in for their first goal at the 16:53 mark.
The Islanders first goal came from winger Matt Martin (2), who made a difference in that frame. The winger who was falling to the ice, got a beautiful pass from both Blake Comeau (9) and Rob Schremp (3), was able to net the 11 foot backhanded shot for the Islanders lead. As the horn sounded, to end the first period the Islanders were able to hold on to that lead while also led that frame in shots by a tally of 11-8.
As the thunderous hits and the flurry of shots would continue to start the second period, the Islanders were able to strike again for their second goal. That goal happened at the 2:44 mark as Matt Moulson (team-leading 10) netted a wrist shot which gave the Islanders the 2-0 lead.
New York then had to power up to kill off two Atlanta power plays including shots by Andrew Ladd, who let off a 32 foot wrist shot at the 4:47 mark that was saved by keeper Rick DiPietro. DiPietro would continue to make some stellar stops as he was able to stop a 31 foot wrist shot by Anthony Stewart at the 5:30 mark. Another impressive save by DiPietro save happened at the 11:06 mark as the keeper stopped a 84 foot wrist shot by Tobias Enstrom.
The Thrashers offensive momentum was just too much though in the second period as they eventually spoilt the shutout bid by DiPietro as at the 18:01 mark as Anthony Stewart (Eight ), which was assisted by Brent Sopel (2) were able to cut into the Islanders lead. Stewart was able to let off a 23 foot snap shot, which made the score 2-1. The Thrashers were able to out shoot the Islanders this period by a tally of 25-17, but the Islanders were able to hold on to their slim lead.
Atlanta continued their offensive momentum going into the third period of play from an unlikely source. Former Devil Johnny Oduya were able to tally two goals. Oduya (2) netted his first goal at the 5:45 mark banging home a 38 foot wrist shot. The defenseman later recorded a 21 foot wrist shot at the 7:03 mark to give the Thrashers the 3-2 lead.
New York would tie the game for the second time when Rob Schremp recorded a 10 foot wrist shot at the 9:15 mark in the third period. Atlanta would find an answer on a short handed goal at the 11:35 mark as Bryan Little (7) netted a 30 foot wrist shot to give the Thrashers the 4-3 lead.
The Thrashers would add onto their lead on a interesting rarely seen feat by Alexander Burmistrov (5). The center was able to win the face-off for Atlanta then netted a 27 foot shot to make the lead 5-3. New York was able to cut into the Thrashers lead as Blake Comeau was able to break a long power play drought. Comeau (5) netted a 11 foot tip-in at the 18:44 mark for the Islanders first power play goal in 47 games, while also making the Thrashers lead 5-4.
As the multitude of Nordique fans took over the bottom level of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and gave the arena a nice boost of energy it was just not enough for the Islanders to make the comeback and earn the two points they need, as Atlanta skated away with the victory.
In the cage for the Islanders keeper Rick DiPietro made 30 saves in a solid effort, while on the other side of the ice Chris Mason made 25 saves in the victory for the Thrashers.
The Islanders will hit the road for a quick trip to Nashville for a 8:00 p.m. face-off on Monday night against the Predators.
Charity Note: Fans are encouraged to bring in a Toy for the December 18, 2010 game against the Coyotes-Fans who bring in a toy receive a voucher for the Islanders/Vancouver game on January 11, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. The Toys will be donated to the John Theissen Children’s Foundation which will give those packages to underprivileged and sick children.