Saturday, January 15, 2011

Isles vs. Sabres 1-15-11

Rick DiPietro's first period back from a little trip on the IR went quite well. Rick saw 14 shots and stopped all of them. Michael Grabner had some excellent changes using his speed to amaze the Buffalo defense. But sadly for the Isles, Ryan Miller has also been able to stop each of the 15 shots that have been thrown his way.

John Tavares and PA Parenteau had an amazing give-and-go in on Miller, but Ryan Miller proved why he went to the Olympics and saw every move. JT was visibly dismayed at that as he was sprawled on the ice at the boards.

Everything was pretty good for the Islanders in the first as they had far more jump than the last game, but during the last minute of play, first Jurcina was called for a penalty on Tyler Ennis (the Sabres only ASG rookie rep!) and within a few ticks of the clock, Radek Martinek was called for a penalty.

The Sabres will start the second period on a fresh sheet of ice with a 5 on 3 power play. The Islanders PK is good, but I don't think it is THAT good to get through 1:27 of 5 on 3! But we'll have to see.

Twenty seven seconds into the second period, Thomas Vanek scores on the 5 on 3 to put the Sabres on the board. It would be the only goal they would see in the period.

The Isles PK managed to easily kill of the 5 on 4 Sabres power play. And then at 3:44, Rob Niedermayer took a hooking penalty and the tables were turned. While no goal was scored, at 7:50 John Tavares beat Ryan Miller to tie the game. According to @B6BB7 "It took a perfect shot to beat him."

There was no call when Milan Jurcina went down on the ice bleeding from over his eye. No office saw any infraction and Jurcina headed off to be stitched up.

Howie Rose and Butch Goring kept complimenting the energy level of the crowd of 12,223 which was 2 more than the Islanders first ever game. Niedermayer gave the Isles their 3rd power play of the evening and John Tavares scored his second goal of the game off a Matt Moulson rebound.

At 13:36 of the second, John Tavares scores his second hat trick of the season with Moulson and Parenteau in Ryan Miller's crease looking to knock in the rebound, JT on one knee bats it in behind Miller.

But they weren't done. Blake Comeau scored the fourth goal of the period and Bruno Gervais, who has had an excellent game tonight, gets an assist point on the score sheet.

Five goals scored in one period and the game isn't over yet. The Islanders out shot the Sabres 33 - 28 and Rick DiPietro has made some excellent saves, despite being run into a few times. He will not want to be yanked from the net, so he will take all the abuse the Sabres can dish out.

At 5:55 of the third, Tyler Ennis fires and scores while Rick DiPietro tries to get back to his right side cutting the Islanders lead to 4 - 2. It was Ennis' 1st goal in ten games.

Rick shows that he can makes saves without equipment as a scoops a puck into his armpit robbing the Sabres of another goal. Parenteau was slashed on a play and banged into the boards leaving him limping to the bench. He didn't leave though and in a few minutes, he was back out.

With only 4:41 left of the third, Josh Bailey took a hooking penalty leaving his team short handed. But that didn't seem to matter to Michael Grabner who finally got what he had been looking for every game; his first short handed NHL goal.

While that was beautiful and it brought the Isles to 5 - 2, Jochen Hecht scored on Rick at 1:45 left of the third as there was too much traffic for him to really track the puck.

Moulson almost had a four point night as a Sabres defense protected the empty net as the clocked ticked down to the final buzzer.

A hat trick for JT, a three point night for Moulson, and an assist point for Matt Martin to go with his team leading 5 hits. I knew the Islanders would win this one as soon as I said I wasn't going.

I was right.

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