CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -Mike Sillinger showed he isn't too old to learn.
Along with his shootout goal, Sillinger scored twice in regulation to help the Islanders to a 5-4 victory over the Flames on Friday night.
"I learned from the other night with Luongo, I tried to wait him out and throw it upstairs and he just snagged it so easy," Sillinger said. "Tonight, I went in with some good speed and caught him backing up. These goalies now a days are so good, they're not going to make a move first. You're going to have to go in there with some speed and have in your mind what you're going to do."
Sillinger's goal tied the shootout after Kristian Huselius put Calgary ahead 1-0. After Jarome Iginla missed for the Flames, New York's Richard Park followed with a goal and Rick DiPietro clinched the win with a stop on Owen Nolan.
"You got a chance to see tonight why our goalie Rick DiPietro is going to the all-star game and how valuable he really is to this team," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "If it wasn't for the play of him, we probably wouldn't have been in this hockey game."
Through the first four games of the Islanders' five-game road trip, DiPietro has faced an average of 39.5 shots. The Flames fired a season-high 42 shots.
"Everyone knew this road trip was going to be a big challenge, all the teams we've played so far have been good teams," DiPietro said. "We've fought hard, we've gotten some points and tonight we got a much-needed two points."
Trent Hunter and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for New York, which moved past Boston into the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders have lost just twice in regulation in the past 11 games (6-2-3).
Nolan had two goals, and Craig Conroy and Dustin Boyd also scored to help the Flames move back into a tie with Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division.
|New York Islanders right wing Trent Hunter, center, celebrates his goal with teammate Ruslan Fedotenko, right, in the first period on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008, in Calgary, AB. Both Hunter and Fedotenko recorded one goal and two assists in the game. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)|
Calgary's best opportunity of the third period came with 5 minutes remaining when Sillinger was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Dion Phaneuf. But the Flames couldn't get the game-winner past DiPietro despite having the puck in the Islanders' zone most of the time.
"We had a good power-play tonight, we moved it around really well and had really good chances, but DiPietro played very well," Iginla said. "On another night, we get those same chances, we move it the same way, we'll score. Unfortunately, we didn't do it tonight."
Trailing 3-1, Calgary stormed back in the second period with three consecutive goals to take a 4-3 lead. It didn't last long. Just 83 seconds after Boyd's goal from a scramble broke the tie, the Islanders evened the score when Fedotenko redirected Marc-Andre Bergeron's point shot over Kiprusoff's shoulder.
"We generated a lot in the second period, but to start the game we were shooting from the outside. We just weren't working hard enough to get the second and third chances," Nolan said.
Tied 1-1 in the first period, Hunter's goal at 15:59, 17 seconds after Nolan had tied the score, put the Islanders back into the lead.
Sillinger notched his second of the game 69 seconds after that.
"It's not too often that we have a two- or three-goal lead and we don't know how to play with them very well," Nolan said. "But everytime we're in a close game, we seem to play better and that's because we have so much confidence and faith in Ricky that he's going to keep us in those games."
Kiprusoff finished with 21 saves amidst rumors the Flames are one of the teams free-agent goalie Curtis Joseph is considering signing with.
Flames GM Darryl Sutter did acknowledge that Kiprusoff, who has started all but one of the Flames' 45 games, could use some time off. He also admitted that having a veteran backup goaltender can give a team more confidence as the playoff races intensify.
"If we have any problem with our goaltending, it's that he's played a lot," Sutter said of Kiprusoff. "It's probably no different than anybody that's looking at an experienced goaltender, they're probably in the same boat as us. Experience gives you another chance if you are in the playoff race or you are fighting for the division title and it also gives everyone the confidence."
Notes: Calgary LW Eric Nystrom did not play, missing his first chance to play against his dad Bob's former team. Nystrom was hit in the teeth by the puck Tuesday night against Phoenix and had to have extensive dental work done. Nystrom did practice on Thursday wearing a full face shield. ... Nystrom's injury enabled veteran C Primeau to get back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games and four of the last five. ... Islanders RW Miroslav Satan sat out for the first time this year with a sprained knee. ... It was the Islanders' first visit to Calgary since Jan. 15, 2002.