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Islanders 3, Ducks 2

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
Forwards PA Parenteau, Blake Comeau and Matt Moulson scored in a 99 second span of the first period, providing all the Islanders would need in a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night.

“(Scoring three quick goals) was huge,” Islanders center Rob Schremp said. “We learned a lot about what this team is capable of and we learned a lot of lessons at the end too."

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano noted that turnovers could have cost them the game, but said, “We played a good game,” Capuano said. “We made it tough on ourselves with our turnovers obviously at the end... (But) they worked hard, they sacrificed their bodies and they played hard.”

Rob Schremp #44 of the New York Islanders is chased by Saku Koivu #11 of the Anaheim Ducks on December 16, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
Schremp added, "I think it started with my turnover, with Bobby Ryan back-checking on me. I have to get that puck deep. But at the end of the day, it’s a huge win for us.”

The Islanders defense played particularly well. Andrew MacDonald played a team-high 25:53 minutes and recorded four shots on net, five takeaways and blocked eight shots. His defensive partner, rookie Travis Hamonic, was right there behind him, recording 23:38 time on the ice for two takeaways and four hits.

“MacDonald and Hamonic both played (a lot of minutes),” Capuano said. “They matched well against their big line the whole night. For two young kids they were up to the challenge, and they played extremely well.”

Milan Jurcina and Radek Martinek returned to the lineup, making an impact on the defense. Their veteran presence was felt, but they also produced a combined six shots, eight hits, three takeaways and three blocked shots.

“(Jurcina) is a factor for sure,” Capuano said. “Anytime that you can get those guys (Jurcina and Martinek) back in your lineup, it gives us the experience – like we talked about earlier – not only on the ice, but in the locker room. We added some poise back there (on the blueline). (Jurcina) has got a good shot and he made some good decisions with the puck tonight.”

But Capuano said Islanders center Frans Nielsen was probably the team’s best player.

“Tonight he probably did a lot of the little things that probably aren’t on the scoresheet, but Nielsen did an excellent job down low tonight,” Capuano said. “He got a majority of the work against their big line (referring to Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan).”

Even though Capuano was happy with the team’s performance, defensive breakdowns in the second and third period cost the Islanders two goals. Joffrey Lupul scored a power play goal at 10:35 of the second period and Jason Blake scored 1:30 into the third period to bring the score within one point (3-2).

Blake Comeau #57 of the New York Islanders celebrates his first period goal as Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks looks away on December 16, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
The most notable Islanders goal was the first, scored by Parenteau. After former Islanders defenseman Andy Sutton took two minutes for roughing at 14:44 of the first period, Parenteau one-timed the puck for a power play goal just 22 seconds later. John Tavares wrapped around the back of the net, finding Parenteau as he passed the puck through the crease.

Comeau scored the second goal, just 28 seconds later. Schremp set up the play for Comeau to wrist the puck past Curtis McElhinney at 15:34.

“Simmer (Jon Sim) did a good job,” Schremp said. “He got in there, took their guy away and the puck came out. I just caught Comeau out of the corner of my eye in front of the net wide open. I just tossed one right in the slot and he put it in.”

But the effort didn’t stop there. Moulson scored his team-high 11th goal of the season with a backhanded shot past McElhinney at 16:45.

“I think it was just lucky,” Moulson said with a laugh. “The puck came off of my stick a little weird and then went in the top corner. I kind of saw an opportunity to jump down and force a turnover. I was lucky enough to lift his stick and it went right to me, found the back of the net.”

While scoring the first goal was definitely a confidence booster, taking a three-goal lead was key to the Islanders victory on Thursday night.

“If we get three in every first period, we will definitely get more wins then losses,” Moulson said.
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