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Islanders 4, Oilers 1

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
Matt Moulson had a three-point night to end 2011 as the New York Islanders defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 Saturday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders jumped out to a 4-1 lead after only 24 minutes of play thanks to multi-point games from John Tavares, PA Parenteau and Moulson. Each player had a goal and an assist, with Moulson also adding a second helper.  Matt Martin scored the Islanders fourth goal, a sharp-angled shot just above the goal line.

“A little change never hurts a team,” Parenteau said of the recent line changes that took him off the Tavares line. “We did it earlier in the season and it worked out for us. It’s not bad to spread the offense out a little bit and I think we are doing a good job right now.”

The Islanders power play was sharp early on Saturday, converting their first two man-advantages. Ben Eager was penalized twice for roughing, spending a total of 78 seconds in the box as the Isles scored twice. Eager later picked up a 10-minute misconduct for an unsportsmanlike call midway through the second period. 

“We came out hard,” Tavares said. “To hold them to one goal and capitalize like we did and get on them hard is something to build off of.”

It was a rough afternoon for Devan Dubnyk, who surrendered four goals on the first nine shots. His counterpart, Evgeni Nabokov, was solid again for the Islanders, stopping 28 of 29. Nabokov, who spent his entire career in the Western Conference, got the better of both Alberta clubs on the teams’ two-game home stand.

“Last couple games, he gave us a chance to win,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said of Nabokov. “I even thought in New York in the 3-0 game, he played extremely well. He’s got a lot of confidence right now. They could have scored two or three goals in the first period alone and Nabby came up huge.”

Former Islanders defenseman Ken Morrow was honored before the game, as he was inducted into the Islanders Hall of Fame. Morrow played 10 seasons on Long Island, winning four Stanley Cups and was a part of the “Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey team. He was the second former Islander to be inducted this season, following original captain Ed Westfall on Nov. 19.

The Islanders wrapped up 2011 with two consecutive home wins, outscoring Calgary and Edmonton 7-2 Their first game of 2012 comes Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Raleigh when the team faces the Carolina Hurricanes. Today’s attendance was 13,807.

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