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Moulson goes 20-in-40

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
Tuesday night’s 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings was a game of execution. The power play scored on 1-of-3 opportunities, the penalty kill went a perfect 3-for-3 and the Islanders managed to score four even-strength goals.

Matt Moulson played an impeccable game and was named the game’s third star. He scored two goals, the first on the power-play, to send the Islanders to a 1-0 lead with 53 seconds left in the first period.

“I think my prettiest one was the first one,” Moulson said. “It was a bank shot being around the net. That’s what I have to do to be successful. It helps when you have two guys who carry you pretty well out there.”

The New York Islanders celebrate a goal by Matt Moulson against the Detroit Red Wings during their game on January10, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Shielding Ty Conklin just above the crease, Moulson notched his second goal at 13:57 of the third period off a deflection from Mark Streit. The goal raised his goal total to 20 goals in 40 games. With 42 games remaining this season, the left wing is now two-thirds of the way to his career-high 31-goal total from 2010-11.

Asked if that 20-in-40 means anything to him, Moulson said, “Not really, to be honest. I don’t really think about it too much. I want to score every single game and help the team win. I love winning and scoring goals. I think having 20 is a real testament to the guys you play with and the guys who are out there with you.”

He continued, “By no means do I get many goals by myself. It’s usually a result of some great passing. My second one was a great read by Streiter (Streit). I don’t think I even had to move my stick. He put it right there.”

Streit's played helped the Isles defense make an impact. He had three assists and three blocked shots.

“Against a team like that, you want to play solid in your own end and use your creativity and offense on the power play,” Streit said.

Though he recorded his highest point totals of the season, the Islanders Captain wasn't even aware of his stats. He was too busy focusing on the team game and playing well in all areas. Outshooting the Red Wings 17-8 in the first period, Streit focused on the power play goal that propelled the Islanders to a one-goal lead and ultimately their win.

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov celebrates being named second star of the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Nassau Coliseum on January 10, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
“In the past, we’ve had a hard time scoring goals,” Streit said. “It seems like now we create more. But I think it starts from the neutral zone. We don’t have as many turnovers as we used to, we get pucks deep and we have so many offensively skilled players that we can circle the puck. Sooner or later, we break teams down and we create. That’s really important.”

The Isles were held to just four shots in the second period, but scored on three-of-four opportunities. John Tavares notched the Islanders second goal at 7:31 of the second and two assists. Kyle Okposo scored the Isles third goal at 11:10 of the second and had an assist. Michael Grabner propelled the Isles to a 4-0 lead at 18:32 of the second.

“It’s crazy,” Streit said. “Even in the past, other teams had only a few shots and they scored a lot of goals. I think in the future, we have to keep shooting. We need to get the pucks on net and sooner or later, pucks are going to go in. We need to have a shooting mentality. The second period we slowed down a little bit and (Detroit) played better, had a couple opportunities, but we played well defensively and Nabby (Nabokov) played unbelievable. It’s a big win for us.”

Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader scored at 2:36 of the third period to cut the differential 4-1 and end goaltender Evgeni Nabokov’s shutout bid, but Moulson’s second goal of the night would seal Detroit’s fate and lift the Isles 5-1.

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