FINAL
OTT
1
BUF
0
FINAL SO
NYI
4
NJD
3
FINAL OT
DET
3
CAR
2
FINAL
CGY
4
CBJ
3
FINAL
LAK
3
WPG
5
FINAL
NSH
1
COL
3
NYI
34-37-11
NJD
35-29-18
SO
26 SOG
29 SOG

Grabner scores twice; Islanders top Devils in shootout

Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Senior Writer | Saturday, 10.05.2013 / 1:03 AM

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Islanders will be better suited to build on last season's success if they continue to find ways to grab two points out of road buildings on the rare nights when John Tavares' line isn't generating anything resembling offense.

Tavares, Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo were shut out for 65 minutes Friday at Prudential Center, but the Islanders pulled out a 4-3 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils.

Moulson scored the only goal in the shootout in the bottom of the sixth round to give the Islanders a win in their season opener. They play their home opener Saturday at Nassau Coliseum against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"You want to be in those situations where you have a chance to win the game for your team, especially since I didn't think our line played great [Friday]," Moulson said. "To help out that way is good because I didn't help out too much in the game."

It didn't matter all that much because the rest of New York's lineup picked up the top line and goalie Evgeni Nabokov did enough.

Michael Grabner scored twice within the first 34 minutes and delivered an assist on Frans Nielsen's go-ahead goal 61 seconds into the third period. Travis Hamonic, Josh Bailey and Matt Donovan had assists, and Nabokov made 26 saves, including five in the shootout.

"[Our top line is] getting a lot of attention, and Johnnie is one of the best players in the game," Grabner said. "If they don't have an offensive night like they're supposed to, other guys have to step up. It's not always easy to score every game. I'm not going to score two goals every game. Sometimes your stuff doesn't work, so other guys have to step up. Fortunately our line could do that and I'm confident [the first line will] have a good game [Saturday]."

Damien Brunner scored twice for the Devils, who got 23 saves from Martin Brodeur, but New Jersey couldn't avoid losing for the second straight night. The Devils, who were shutout 3-0 at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, managed one of four possible points in the first of their League-high 22 back-to-back sets.

They head out on a five-game road trip that starts Monday against the Edmonton Oilers. New Jersey is set to play at Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Ottawa before returning home to face the New York Rangers on Oct. 19.

"It's a big point," Brodeur said. "You have to start somewhere. A lot of new guys in the lineup and you can see the new faces in shootout. It'll take time and you have to give it time. Great thing [is] we're now going on the road, a chance to get to know each other."

Brunner scored his first with the Devils 2:59 into the first period, but Grabner came back just over five minutes later and used his speed to knife through the middle of the defense before beating Brodeur with a shot underneath his stacked pads.

Grabner's speed and a smart pass from Bailey helped the Islanders tie the game again, this time at 2-2, with 6:17 to play in the second period.

Bailey blocked Anton Volchenkov's dump-in attempt, found the puck at his feet, spun and found Grabner streaking into the neutral zone with a blind pass. It sent Grabner down the right wing in stride for a shot off the rush from the circle that squeezed through Brodeur.

Grabner had a breakaway opportunity in the third period with the game tied at 3-3, but Brodeur stoned him with a blocker save. He was robbed by Brodeur's glove hand in the first period.

"[Grabner] stepped up," Tavares said. "He has a lot of skill offensively, and I don't think we're too surprised when we see him putting the puck in the net, but it's good to get everyone involved and contributing. We need that throughout our lineup."

The Devils found some offense after getting blanked by Marc-Andre Fleury on Thursday.

Brunner scored each of his goals, including the tying goal with 12:26 to play in the third period, from Nabokov's doorstep. Michael Ryder gave New Jersey a 2-1 lead 4:46 into the second with a quick wrist shot from the left circle that beat Nabokov high on the blocker side.

Adam Henrique had a couple of excellent chances, but he hit the post once and was robbed by Nabokov on a power play less than two minutes after Ryder scored. Nabokov came across his crease to stop Henrique's shot.

"In Pittsburgh we played better hockey throughout the full 60 minutes than we did [Friday]," Devils forward Patrik Elias said. "Funny, we scored some goals [Friday], but gave up a lot of chances."

They didn't give up too many to Tavares, Moulson and Okposo. That's typically a successful formula against the Islanders, but Friday wasn't about what the line couldn't generate because of many other factors.

Grabner stepped up. Nielsen scored. Nabokov had several big stops and a perfect record in the shootout. Casey Cizikas played well away from the puck. Brock Nelson was dangerous in his NHL regular-season debut. Donovan jumped into the play and picked up an assist in his first NHL game since April 7, 2012. Hamonic did the same thing. Bailey contributed.

If those players stay consistent, and the top-liners find their way, the Islanders will be in position to build on last season's success, when the made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.

"Good teams pick each other up when they have to," Moulson said. "Obviously we want to be a part of helping this team win, and we'll be a lot better [Saturday], I'll guarantee that."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

1st2nd3rdOTsoT
NYI ()
NJD ()
Scoring Summary
1st Period
02:59NJD Damien Brunner (1) ASST: Dainius Zubrus (1), Andrei Loktionov (1) 1 - 0 NJD
08:07NYI Michael Grabner (1) ASST: Travis Hamonic (1) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
04:46NJD Michael Ryder (1) ASST: Bryce Salvador (1), Marek Zidlicky (1) 2 - 1 NJD
13:43NYI Michael Grabner (2) ASST: Josh Bailey (1) 2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
01:01NYI Frans Nielsen (1) ASST: Michael Grabner (1), Matt Donovan (1) 3 - 2 NYI
07:34NJD Damien Brunner (2) ASST: Ryane Clowe (1), Anton Volchenkov (1) 3 - 3 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
1NJDDamien Brunner - Save
2NYIFrans Nielsen - Missed
3NJDRyane Clowe - Save
4NYIPierre-Marc Bouchard - Save
5NJDPatrik Elias - Save
6NYIJohn Tavares - Save
7NJDTravis Zajac - Missed
8NYIJosh Bailey - Missed
9NJDMichael Ryder - Save
10NYIKyle Okposo - Save
11NJDJaromir Jagr - Save
12NYIMatt Moulson - Goal
Shootout Summary
RNDNew Jersey DevilsNew York Islanders
1Damien Brunner
Frans Nielsen
2Ryane Clowe
Pierre-Marc Bouchard
3Patrik Elias
John Tavares
4Travis Zajac
Josh Bailey
5Michael Ryder
Kyle Okposo
6Jaromir Jagr
Matt Moulson
Three Stars of the Game
Michael Grabner
1st
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 14:43
Damien Brunner
2nd
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 14:53
Martin Brodeur
3rd
SA: 26TOI: 65:00
GA: 3EV: 20-23
PIM: 0PP: 3-3
SV%: .885SH: 0-0
Penalty Summary
1st Period
09:05NJD Damien Brunner  Hooking against  Brian Strait
2nd Period
05:40NYI Pierre-Marc Bouchard  Interference against  Andrei Loktionov
3rd Period
05:26NYI Brock Nelson  Hooking against  Steve Bernier
10:04NJD Ryan Carter  Hooking against  Casey Cizikas
OT Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodNYINJD
1st97
2nd713
3rd98
OT11
Total2629
Team Stats
CategoryNYINJD
Power Plays0/20/2
Hits1513
Faceoff Wins2824
Giveaways311
Takeaways67
Blocked Shots149
Penalty Minutes44
  • NY ISLANDERS
  • NEW JERSEY
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
3T. HamonicD01-11023:57
11L. VisnovskyD0012021:20
12J. BaileyL0121014:59
13C. McDonaldR00-11012:11
14T. HickeyD0001018:00
16P. ReginC00-11014:50
17M. MartinL00-12013:56
21K. OkposoR0001021:37
26M. MoulsonL0002020:24
29B. NelsonC00-12210:41
37B. StraitD0000018:46
40M. GrabnerR2124014:43
46M. DonovanD0112019:34
47A. MacDonaldD00-10024:44
51F. NielsenC1021016:32
53C. CizikasC00-10014:18
91J. TavaresC00-14022:26
96P. BouchardC0001213:02
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
20E. Nabokov2629.89765:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2M. ZidlickyD0113023:49
5A. LarssonD00-22012:09
6A. GreeneD0010024:35
8D. ZubrusR0112013:43
10P. HarroldD0002025:22
11S. GiontaC00-11010:43
12D. BrunnerR2014214:53
14A. HenriqueC0022019:54
17M. RyderR1011016:47
18S. BernierR0002016:54
19T. ZajacC0014021:30
20R. CarterL00-1229:49
21A. LoktionovC0111014:31
24B. SalvadorD0100026:08
26P. EliasL00-21017:09
28A. VolchenkovD0100015:13
29R. CloweL01-11018:21
68J. JagrR00-21014:30
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30M. Brodeur2326.88565:00