ISLANDERS REGAIN THEIR FORM AGAINST THE NHL’S ELITE
The best thing for a struggling team is coming home and playing in front of a sold out arena. The Islanders fed off the “Old Barn’s” energy as they completed a third period comeback to defeat the red hot Blackhawks 3-2. The Islanders are now 5-1-0 in front of home sellout crowds this season.
Early in the second period the rarest of events happened when fourth liners Dan Carcillo and Cal Clutterbuck exchanged goals just six seconds apart. Dan “Car Bomb” Carcillo took a shot from the slot, the puck bounced off Halak straight in the air. The puck took a friendly Blackhawks bounce as it hit off Halak’s back and found the back of the net.
Following the goal, Duncan Keith had an ill-advised turnover that Clutterbuck took advantage of.
“Clutters goal was a huge momentum swing in our direction,” Josh Bailey said after the teams’ win that ended the three game losing streak.
Early in the third period Patrick Kane fired a nifty backhand giving the Hawks a one-goal lead at the time.
“We were down 2-1 in the third there and could have folded,” Kyle Okposo said after earning the second star of the game. “But we didn’t. I thought that was a good step for our team.”
With the man advantage and trailing by one the Islanders special teams unit came through in the clutch. John Tavares launched a wrist shot from the point, and Kyle buried the rebound.
“We were moving it around pretty good on the PP and had them tired,” Kyle Okposo said about his game-tying power play goal. “I just tried to position myself on the backdoor and luckily the puck popped out to me. It was rolling and I just tried to will it into the net and it got there.”
However the Islanders were not done. Just 51 seconds later Lubomir Visnovsky sniped a wrist shot to give the Islanders the lead that they would not relinquish.
The Islanders defensive group held their own against one of the most proficient offensive teams in the NHL.
I thought tonight that our defense played an outstanding game, all six guys,” Jack Capuano said following the win. “We have struggled a little bit, we have had guys in and out of the lineup because of the injuries. You could see when our goaltender plays like that and those six defenseman played a quality game back there we gave ourselves a chance to win tonight.”
The Islanders have now won 20 of the club’s first 30 contests and will look to improve that in the next game, Monday night against division rival, the New Jersey Devils at the Coliseum.
By: Scott Charles
WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY Staff Writer
Islanders Insight Senior Editor
Follow us on Twitter @sportstalkny and @Scottmcharles
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