The New York Islanders (7-11-4) ended the month of November on a strong note, with their second straight road victory 2-1 over the Buffalo Sabres (13-10-1) on Tuesday night hockey action. Since the 23 of November, when Al Montoya took control of the cage-the Islanders have become a different team.
The Isles are starting to reflect the fiery temperament of their keeper, unafraid to grind out a full three periods of play. New York is also more willing to crash the cage in order to get a scoring opportunity. For their energy and effort the Islanders are now finally seeing the results they have hoped for from the beginning of the season.
Matt Moulson (8) opened up the scoring for the Islanders, tallying a slap shot on a power play opportunity at the 6:47 mark of the first period of play. For Moulson this is the second game that the forward has opened up the scoring for New York.
The game featuring nine total penalties also had a fight at the 13:27 mark of the first, when Matt Martin and Zack Kassian exchanged blows. It was a fast and furious fight, as several fists were exchanged between the two combatants.
In the second period the Isles defense was the key, as New York was able to protect their 1-0 lead. Buffalo however found the equalizer in the third when Jochen Hecht (2) recorded a wrister at the 1:54 mark to tie things up at 1-1.
New York responded with plenty of scoring opportunities, starting with a beauty of a chance by Kyle Okposo at the 6:18 mark that hit the crossbar. Brian Rolston (3) had two golden opportunities later on, recording the game-winner at 9:23 on a backhander shot that went five hole of the Sabres keeper.
Recording back-to-back points in the Rolston goal was Josh Bailey (4) with the secondary assist. Earning the primary assist was David Ullstrom, who recorded his first NHL point in the game. New York keeper Al Montoya (30 saves) took the game from here, making several key saves to help the Isles win their second road game.
The ‘Big Cubano’ lived up to his nickname, making the saves of the game on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. The combo of Montoya along with some huge blocked shots by Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald helped lead the Isles to the victory.
New York will now continue this road stretch with a trip to the Windy City on Friday, as the Isles will take on the Blackhawks. The game between the Isles and Hawks is scheduled to air on the MSG Plus network, with face-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Written on November 30, 2011