On Saturday night, your New York Islanders met the rival New Jersey Devils at the NVMC. New Jersey was desperate for points and needed a big win to help their push for a play off spot. The Isles would have 9 rookie skaters and one in net to make their stand.
Forwards: Lee-Nielsen-Bailey; Persson-Nelson-Clutterbuck; Martin-Strome-McDonald; Halmo-Cizikas-Sundstrom.
D-Pairings: de Haan-Hamonic; Czuczman-Hickey; Donovan-Carkner.
Anders Nilsson in net with Evgeni Nabokov on the bench.
The Islanders came out with jump once again and forced New Jersey to joust with them in the first period, playing the body and finishing their checks. Thomas Hickey was everywhere for New York and took a few uncalled sticks to the face because of it. It was another period of domination for the Isles, but no goals to show for it. The Isles would score just 2:00 into the second period on a Frans Nielsen (Josh Bailey) wrist shot, 1-0 Isles. The Devils would score later in the period to tie the score at 1-1. Nilsson would make the initial save, but was unable to get the rebound. Kevin Czuczman with another solid effort on D. Play would tighten up, especially when the Isles went 3 for 3 on the PK against NJ. Anders Nilsson was good throughout and made some big saves, late in the contest. After a scoreless third period, the game would go to overtime. The Isles out hit NJ 46-16, but were out shot 20-19 after regulation.
In Overtime, the Devils had a 4-1 advantage in shots and had some good pressure in the Isles zone. Thomas Hickey came up with a huge play to block a shot late in the extra period to help the Isles force a shoot out. Anders Nilsson was aggressive and challenged shooters, making going 20 for 21 with a .958 Sv%.
In the shootout, Frans Nielsen and Matt Donovan came up huge and scored to seal the 2-1 win for the Islanders. Nilsson was perfect, stopping both Devils shooters.
Per Islanders.nhl.com, “It was nice for me personally to bounce-back from the previous two games,” Nilsson said. “I felt calmer, felt comfortable and the guys helped me feel comfortable. They were tracking guys well, keeping them to the outside and cleared the view for me. I pretty much saw every shot. They made it easy for me to play.”
Its the 1,400th victory in team history!
CHL Playoff Report; Follow the Isles prospects as they compete for the Memorial Cup
Per Arthur Stape, "Speaking of #Isles prospects, last two 1st-round picks, @GriffinReinhart and @rpulock2, facing off in WHL QF. Series begins Thursday.
Sound Tigers Notes:
Per NYI, "Victor Crus Rydberg & Kyle Burroughs sign ATO's with AHL Bridgeport for remainder of season."