4:30 pm: The seriously undermanned Islanders once again played their tails off and the Gordon forecheck drove even a familiar team batty. Down 4-3 with five minutes left in the third period, P.A. Parenteau tied the game on a 5-on-3 power play and Blake Comeau scored the game-winner on the 5-on-4. Frans Nielsen added the empty-netter.
Said Scott Gordon:”If we play our game correctly, good things will happen.” They did today.
TODAY’S FIVE BEST
1. Blake Comeau - Always plays well against the Rangers. Starting to play well against every team.
2. Josh Bailey - Injuries or not, Bailey has been the Islanders’ best player through two games. A very welcomed development.
3. Matt Moulson - Another goal, plus an assist.
4. Artem Anisimov -Young center blossoming in Manhattan.
5. Mike Mottau - Two assists, another 20 minutes of steadiness on D.
James Wisniewski made a lewd gesture at Sean Avery during the first period. He will likely be suspended, probably for just one game. Knowing James should become a folk hero in the Country as a result, it may be worth it for him in the long run.
(FRANS) NIELSEN RATINGS (1-10)
NYI Performance - 9: When you’re this shorthanded and still beat your archrival, there should be little to complain about.
Power Play - 8: Two more goals on the power play, again when they really needed them.
Penalty Killing - 4: Allowed two more on four opportunities. The PK has to be better.
Goaltending - 5: DiPietro was extremely sharp early, making a few sprawling saves and stopping Marian Gaborik on a first period penalty shot. He got his teammates and the crowd into the game. He was average the rest of the way, but good enough to get the win while still shaking off the rust. Said Gordon about what DiPietro needs more work at, what he can’t get in practice: “Fighting through screens, getting bumped. You have to get used to it.”
Opponent - 5: Only missing Chris Drury, the Rangers were more than a little peeved in the locker room postgame for not closing out their feisty opponent.
Game - 9: Not an artistic masterpiece, but fans don’t pay for that. This was entertaining as heck.
Event - 6: The new goal song, as ordered by Zenon Konopka, is “Live is Life” by Opus. Please allow me to quote the medicore Phil Collins: I don’t care anymore.
Crowd - Attendance was announced at 11,748. Islanders have responded well to crowds at MSG last few years, so large turnout of Rangers fans only had a positive effect. Today’s game could have been played at night, but Jets-Vikings would have affected attendance, too. I’m sure the Islanders wished the NHL gave them the Rangers on a Tuesday night with nothing going on. Unfortunate.
Michael Grabner made his NYI debut, playing left wing on Doug Weight’s line. Josh Bailey took John Tavares’ center spot on the line with Blake Comeau and PA Parenteau…Zenon Konopka hosted Brandon Prust in the best and longest fight the Coliseum crowd has seen in a while…Blake Comeau has scored eight of his 34 career NHL goals against the Rangers.
The Islanders have been called for too-many-men penalities in each of their first two games. The Rangers scored off today’s TMM in the second period.
P. A. Parenteau
Comments on today’s game are welcomed.