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Answering the call

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
The Islanders call-ups from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers made a huge impact in the Islanders 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Tim Wallace played less than one full period with his new Islanders teammates before he made the heads-up play behind the net to Matt Martin for the game-winner at 18:26 of the first period. Accordingly, the assist on Martin’s goal was Wallace’s first point in an Islanders sweater.

Tim Wallace skates in his first game as an Islander against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nassau Coliseum on December 6, 2011. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
“He took the body very well,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said of Wallace, who made a team-leading seven hits in 9:37 of play. “I thought he had good positioning. I thought his offensive zone play real good tonight. His puck management was good tonight. He gave us a big lift. It was a big goal back behind the net and the cut back to Matty Martin.”

Then in the third period, David Ullstrom – playing in his eighth NHL game – converted on a drop pass from Josh Bailey for the Islanders fourth goal, which consequently solidified his bid for the first star of the game.

“That’s a great pass right there,” Ullstrom said of Bailey’s play. “I saw him going for the breakaway pass, but I didn’t want to rush it so they’d break it up and go the other way, so I waited and hit it off the boards and I yelled the whole way for him. He heard me at the last second there and threw a great pass between his legs, so I just shot it.”

That type of play has Bailey making more of an impact.

“I knew I had some time with the puck,” Bailey said. “I wanted to just get my head up. I saw Wally (Wallace) driving the net and heard Ully (Ullstrom) behind me as well. He was wide open.”

Bailey continued, “If you don’t make that play, you’re not making the proper play. It was definitely nice to be a part of his first goal. It’s always a special moment in a player’s career and for him he’s such a great guy and great player with tons of skill, he works his butt off and I think it’s well deserved by him.”

David Ullstrom celebrates scoring his first NHL goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at  Nassau Coliseum on December 6, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Lightning 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ullstrom had a feeling today would be his day, predicting he’d score his first NHL goal Tuesday night during the Islanders media availability held earlier in the day.

“Yeah you heard me this morning, right?” Ullstrom said of his prediction. “I had a good feeling this morning, had a good morning skate, everything felt really good. We were talking about it in the locker room, me and Reeser (Dylan Reese) here.”

Still a Kid
Islanders forward John Tavares ended a 13-game goal scoring drought as he notched the game-tying goal at 14:01 of the first period. Still very much a kid in his own right at 21-years-old, Tavares recognized the young guys coming up from the Sound Tigers.

“I thought they were great tonight,” Tavares said. “Wally (Wallace) came up, first game of the year and really got in on the forecheck, created some turnovers. Ully’s (Ullstrom) played great since he’s been up as well. It was nice to see him get rewarded with his first career goal. There’s nothing like it.”

Moulson’s Hot Streak
Matt Moulson also converted, scoring the Islanders fifth goal on the power play with 2:35 remaining in the third period. That goal, coming the very next game after a four-goal night, extended the Islanders leading-goal scorer’s streak to eight goals in five games.

“Not going to lie, I felt a little heavy legged early on,” said Moulson, who took a team-leading eight shots on goal. “As we got going there, I felt a little better, but I couldn’t buy one for a while. Luckily, I got one (goal) at the end and I think our line played a real solid game tonight.”

While Moulson was depended on to lift the islanders to their 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday, the Isles win over the Lightning was a full-team effort. The win extended the Islanders hot streak to five games (4-0-1 record), where they scored 14 goals in their last three contests.

“It’s definitely huge,” Tavares said of receiving goals from more than just his line. “It takes some pressure off a couple of the other lines. When you’re able to get that depth scoring it really balances you out and you’re able to be more successful as a team.”

More scoring
Milan Jurcina converted on the power play for his first goal of the season with six seconds left in the first period after a nice cycle from Frans Nielsen and Mark Streit. Martin St. Louis opened the scoring at 6:55 of the first period and would be the only goal scored by the Lightning who were outshot 34-24.

Robbed of a Goal
Just 1:52 after the puck dropped to open the third period, PA Parenteau was robbed by Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon as he took a point blank shot off a pass from Moulson. That glove save held Parenteau off the score sheet for the first time in five games.

“It was a nice save,” Parenteau said. “There was not much I could do there. I got all the wood I wanted. I knew exactly where I wanted it, I put it exactly where I wanted and he made an unbelievable save. It happens. I would have loved to have it. But it was a big win for the boys, so it doesn’t matter.”

Confidence is Everything
Right now, confidence is what brings wins.

“When you hit a bad patch like we did, I think you learn a lot from it,” Parenteau said. “When you get that confidence, you don’t want to lose it. I think that’s what it’s all about right now. The guys that came up from Bridgeport played great hockey tonight. That was a big part of the win tonight, a big part of it.”

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