The New York Islanders (4-5-2) earned a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals (9-3-0) in Saturday night hockey action. Snapping a six game losing streak, the Isles changes in lines turned out to be a key to success for the guys.
“We had to do something over the last few games,” head coach Jack Capuano said after the game. “I think they saw it coming, our guys knew something had to be done. We did a lot of good things and I give credit to the guys and their work ethic.”
It was a game of momentum changes, as both the Islanders and Caps controlled certain points of the game. The Islanders played an inspired game in front of 14,812 in attendance, with a good majority being from our armed forces.
Prior to the game New York took time to celebrate the men and women of the military, as the team took to the ice wearing camouflage warm-up sweaters.
Washington took momentum of the game when at the 5:24 mark in the first period, when Joel Ward (4) connected on a 24 foot wrister on a rebounded shot for the first goal of the game. The momentum stayed with the Capitals when Alexander Ovechkin (6), pulled a Play Station-esque move at the 18:41 mark for the 2-0 lead.
New York completely took over the game in the second period of play when Frans Nielsen tallied a 13 foot backhanded shot, to start the Islanders comeback effort. Setting Nielsen up on that goal was P.A. Parenteau (8) who had a great connection with his new line all game long.
“I think a little change never hurts,” Parenteau said. “New lines were the way to go, mix it up a little bit. It worked out tonight; and hopefully we can keep it going for a while.”
Capuano had this to say of the new line, “I like the way that they played tonight, Frans (Nielsen) has great playmaking ability. They generated offensive opportunity, and they were able to help us get two points tonight.”
Brian Rolston recorded his first goal as an Islander, and the 366th of his career on a wicked sniper shot at the 16:55 mark to tie the game up at 2-2, as Nielsen and Parenteau assisted on the second goal.
“It was a pleasure playing with those guys tonight,” Rolston said. “The line change definitely paid off in that matter. I feel real comfortable with those guys. Obviously Frans is good at both ends of the ice, and it is a pleasure to play with him, as well as PA-who had a huge night for us.”
With the AC/DC song ‘Shook me all night long’ blaring over the public address system, and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum rocking, Matt Martin (2) gave the Islanders the lead at the 6:28 mark of the third period of play.
Throughout the home stretch Martin has been one guy that has impressed the fans, giving extra effort and hustle in every game he has played. The forward was rewarded for his extra effort, by tipping-in a 10 foot shot, which gave the Islanders the lead at the time.
“We had four even strength goals tonight,” Martin said. “That’s something that hasn’t come easy for us lately, and we have to build off that. We just have to keep throwing pucks on net, keep crashing the cage. If you look at almost every goal except Rolston’s they were pretty close to the crease. That’s something we have to continue to work on.”
Washington went ahead in the game, and regained momentum when Brooks Laich (2) scored on a power play opportunity at the 9:12 mark. The Islanders continued to skate, and fight for two points, when a gritty Parenteau put in the game-winner at the 18:14 mark.
When asked about the play of Parenteau as of late Capuano had this to say, “Everyone has more to give on this team, the thing with tonight is that P.A. played determined. He played well with his other line, and he did so again with Fransie and Rolie-credit to him for playing hard.”
Capping off the game was an empty-net goal from John Tavares, to now give the team positive momentum before going on a long road trip. Helping on the fifth goal of the game was keeper Rick DiPietro, who also recorded his first win of the 2011-12 seasons.
“Ricky gave us a chance to win the game,” Capuano said of his keeper after the game. “He made some saves, and kept us in the game.”
Starting on Monday, the Islanders will head to Boston for a showdown with the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. The game is scheduled to air on the MSG network, and the face-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Story was originally seen on the Examiner.com site on 11/5/11 and can be found by clicking here: