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by Katrina Doell / New York Islanders

Some people celebrate their 21st birthdays with big parties, some with goals in NHL games. Josh Bailey turned 21 tonight and the only shot he took beat New Jersey Devils goalie Johan Hedberg to set the bar in the Islanders 2-1 win at Nassau Coliseum. 

With 5:47 elapsed in the first period, Doug Weight, from the left side, spun around and found Bailey coming up the middle just above the crease. It could not have been planned any better.

“I think that goal is a perfect example of how he (Weight) plays” said Bailey. “I tried to float it into the right area, and it’s like he had eyes in the back of his head.” 

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The game winning goal was also something to behold. Blake Comeau met up with a cross-ice pass from John Tavares and beat Hedberg over the left shoulder and provided the final margin at 17:25 in the second period. 

“Tonight we played the right way,” Gordon said.

Gordon is also pleased with the way the captain has played this preseason and through camp.
“Now he’s playing with full confidence, more than I’ve seen him play with in the past few years,” Gordon said. “It’s very encouraging, I know it’s one thing to be a good leader in the room, but he wants to be successful on the ice. Not just be a leader by example in the room and practice, but also perform on the ice. That’s probably the closest to seeing Dougy at his best in these two exhibition games.”

Also encouraging is how Rick DiPietro played, stopping 26 shots. He also faked out Ilya Kovalchuk on penalty shot in the first period. DiPietro came to the top of the crease and forced Kovalchuk to hit the left post. The goalie was more humble in describing the play.

“He made a good move and got a lucky post,” DiPietro said. “I would take the penalty shot over the power play against teams like that.  Fortunately for me, he hit the post and we were able to keep our momentum.” 

Zach Parise scored the lone Devils goal, tying it at one at 13:06 in the first period. Tallinder and Kovalchuk assisted.

The Devils outshot the Islanders 26-23.

The Islanders are 1-4. The Devils are 2-1-3.
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