Islanders head coach Jack Capuano decided to change his lines prior to the game against the Calgary Flames, and the guys responded with a 3-1 victory in Thursday night hockey action. New York has now earned points in 8-of-10 games this season against Western Conference opponents.
In front of 14,819 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Isles came out with heart, hustle and energy to take the first of two home games before the end of 2011.
Helping to lead the Isles to two big points at home was keeper Evgeni Nabokov, who made 29 saves, in earning the second star of the game along with career win #296 in his career. The lone goal given up by Nabby was when the Flames took a 1-0 lead on a wrister by former teammate Tim Jackman at the 1:11 mark of the first period.
Things were fast and physical between these two teams all game long, as pucks, gloves and sticks were flying, though there was no official fight one could feel the tension between the teams. Returning to the Island since his trade was winger Blake Comeau, who was greeted several times by his former mates.
New York found their first goal of the game when Andrew MacDonald (3) put in a rifle of a snap shot at the 3:04 mark of the second period. The Blueliner had a sweet shot in the slot to tie the game up for the Islanders.
The highlight of the game for Islanders fans was when John Tavares (12), had a Top 10 move at the 3:20 mark in the third period to score the second Islanders goal. The center controlling the puck the whole time, took possession up the side, across the middle to beat the Calgary keeper for the sweet score.
Brian Rolston (4) capped the game off with an empty net goal at the 19:17 mark, to help the Isles snap a three-game home-losing streak.
New York will conclude 2011 with a Saturday showdown with the Edmonton Oilers. The Isles/Oilers game is slated to air on the MSG network with face-off slated for 1:00 p.m. Prior to the game the Isles will induct blueliner Ken Morrow into the Hall of Fame.
Written on December 30, 2011