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Oh my Josh, Isles sweep Penguins: 5-3

Isles Celebrating. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

The New York Islanders (33-33-11) swept the Pittsburgh Penguins (47-24-6) in the home-and-home series between these two teams, by a final score of 5-3 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Secondary scoring was the theme of the night, as center Josh Bailey led the way with his first-career, five point game.

“The thing for me right now with Josh is that he is constantly moving,” said New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano after the game. “His feet are moving, he is protecting the puck really well , I think that line (Bailey, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen) complement each other real well.”

Bailey, Okposo and Nielsen have helped the Islanders to a three-game winning streak, as both Josh and Kyle extended their point and goal-scoring streak respectively.  Bailey now has a six-game point streak (3g/9a), while Okposo is on a four-game goal-scoring streak (5).

Kyle was also able to reach the 20-goal mark as the winger finished a nice passing play from his teammates at the 5:52 mark in the frame.

“It feels good to get to 20 goals for the first time,” Okposo said. “I was happy with the way that we responded after they had some momentum in the third period, obviously Bailes (Josh Bailey) played terrific.”

Bailey seems like a player reborn since going back to the winger position, and spoke of the key to his success.

“I have to give a lot of the credit to the guys on my line,” Bailey said. “I think they make my job pretty easy, I think as a winger Fransie and Okie bring so much to the table and I come with speed and try to focus on the plays on the defensive zone.”

On if there is a different mindset from being a winger to a center Bailey had this to say, “I think to a certain degree, I think the one thing that I have found is that I feel like I can play out there forever when I play wing. I think defensively it is a lot less responsibility, and I think it leaves you a lot more energy offensively.”

It was a night of many positive moments for the Isles, starting with the first goal of the season for hard-working Marty Reasoner, who gave New York the early momentum at the 11:07 mark in the first period. Setting Reasoner up was Bailey, and captain Mark Streit, who now has 200 assists in his career.

Pittsburgh had both a scary moment and the game-tying goal in the second period of play. The scary part was when star Sidney Crosby had to leave, when Islanders young-blueliner Dylan Reese trying to clear the puck out, hit the Penguins center in the face.

Thankfully for Penguins fans, Crosby returned to his bench and his team with 10:08 remaining in the frame. Pascal Dupuis netted the game-tying goal at the time at the 8:37 mark in the second period, for Dupuis, the Pittsburgh winger extended his career-long point streak to 12 games.

Okposo helped New York regain the lead at the 16:36 mark, as the winger was driving hard to the cage to bang home the rebounded shot. Both Bailey and Okposo wrapped-up the scoring for New York.

“The wins that we have had recently, it has been because of secondary scoring,” said Jack Capuano. “It is really good to see some of the guys that had struggled earlier in the season, scoring some goals. “ On how the team was able to keep snipers Crosby and Malkin quiet, Capuano had this to say, “We were just trying to contain them, and trying to limit their chances.”

New York will now prepare to face-off against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions the Boston Bruins on Saturday, with the game scheduled to air on the MSG-Plus channel, and face-off set for 1:00 p.m.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum was blanketed with flyers for the NCMEC, as the Islanders franchised teamed with the non-profit organization, whose mission are to keep children safe.

The Islanders had a variety of activates for the NCMEC, which raised not only awareness, but vital funds to the group, the night was a huge success as $25,644 were raised by fans, which was doubled to $51,288 thanks to New York Islanders owner Charles Wang.

Click on the link below for more information on the NCMEC:


Written on March 29, 2012 also seen on the Examiner.com site below:


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