11:00 pm, NVMC: After falling behind 2-0 after the first period – including a second goal that Rick DiPietro called “horrendous” on his part – the Islanders rallied from a deficit of 4-2 in the third period to tie the game. They got a point in the standings, but lost in the shootout when Mike Ribeiro scored the only goal.
Besides the impressive comeback, a storyline of equal importance was the Islanders losing John Tavares to what the team termed a mild concussion. Tavares suffered the injury on a hit by Dallas forward Adam Burish late in the first period. The Islanders announced that Tavares will be re-evaluated on Monday, so they should be without their No. 1 center when they host the Rangers on Columbus Day.
TONIGHT’S FIVE BEST
1. Doug Weight – The captain truly does look like a new man. Weight had a goal and two assists. Said Scott Gordon, “He made some plays he just couldn’t have last year.”
2. Brenden Morrow – The Stars’ captain was just as good, scoring two goals. With Modano and Turco gone, this is really his team now.
3. Josh Bailey – As one national broadcaster, watching the game, texted to me, “Bailey is playing with diesel now.”
4. James Wisniewski – One goal, one assist and one mammoth hit in the third period that prompted Rex Ryan to say, “Now that’s what I’m talking about”!
5. Brad Richards – There’s a reason the Rangers hope they can recruit him as their No. 1 center next summer.
Unsung Hero: Mike Mottau. “Great signing by Garth to get a player like that so late in the offseason,” said Gordon. Exactly. Over 21:06, Mottau was better than steady.
Wow, He’s Good: James Neal didn’t get on the scoresheet, but now we have a better understanding of why the Stars consider him a cornerstone.
Reader Comment of the Week: (tie, both on the Islanders’ radio deal with Hofstra)
Ethan K: “We have 18 year olds on the ice. You’re worried about them running a friggin radio station?!”
Sidd Finch: “Any chance the Shinnecocks have put in a bid for the smoke signal rights?”
(FRANS) NIELSEN RATINGS (1-10)
NYI Performance – 7: They shot from everywhere, which is good but a little misleading for the shot totals (47-22). They battled hard in the second period and still did not give up down 4-2 seven minutes into the third. For a team dealing with so many key injuries, the glass was a little more than half-full after coming away with a point.
Power Play – 8: Islanders were 3-6 and distributed the puck well. At least for this night, no one was looking for Mark Streit.
Penalty Killing – 8: They were 1-6, including the killing of a 4-on-3 in overtime.
Goaltending – 5: DiPietro said after the game, “I let up a terrible second goal and the guys still came back.” He knows he has to be much better.
Opponent – 7: For a team that played an overtime game last night in New Jersey, Dallas showed something playing a strong opening two periods. It was easy to see they had nothing left in their legs in overtime.
Game – 8: The comeback was dramatic, and the crowd showed its appreciation.
Event – 6: The game operations were sharp and exciting, but the night had less than an “event” feel with all those mostly-empty sections in the 200s and 300s behind the goal the Islanders defend twice. Announced attendance was 13,351 – 3,000 short of a sellout.
Crowd – 10: The fans that were there started off loud and proud from the parking lot two hours before the game until Ribeiro’s shootout goal.
Doug Weight on the Comeback
Niederreiter on his NHL Debut
Comments on tonight’s game are invited.