Bryan McCabe scored his 18th goal of the season. (Getty Images)
March 10, 2006
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Ed Belfour and Martin Brodeur have something else in common other than a lot of NHL victories. Neither can stop Miroslav Satan in a shootout.
Satan scored the only goal in the tiebreaker Friday night to give the makeshift New York Islanders a 2-1 win over Belfour and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"The best way to succeed is to try to block it away, try to take it as a practice and have fun with it,'' said Satan, who has converted seven times in nine tries. "So far, they've been more going in than not.''
In two of New York's previous three victories, Satan beat Brodeur in shootouts as the Islanders topped New Jersey twice at home in six days. They have gone to overtime five times in 10 games and won four in shootouts.
"I was worried that Miro would look up and not see Brodeur there,'' Islanders coach Brad Shaw said.
Rick DiPietro made the goal stand up when he stopped Darcy Tucker's try right on the line. It moved New York into a 10th-place tie with Toronto, seven points behind the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
With several deals at the NHL trading deadline, the Islanders appeared to give up hope of reaching the post-season for a fourth straight season. That might have been premature.
"We're all professionals and we have a playoff race that we're trying to get back into,'' DiPietro said.
Toronto defenceman Bryan McCabe and New York rookie Robert Nilsson traded second-period goals, and the goaltenders did the rest.
McCabe nearly won it with 40 seconds left in overtime when he one-timed a crisp pass from Mats Sundin right into DiPietro, who stopped 22 shots.
Belfour made 26 saves after giving up six goals on 33 shots in a 9-6 victory over New York on Dec. 19 when he became the second winningest goalie in NHL history.
Despite being in shooting range of a playoff spot, the Islanders traded forwards Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha as well as defencemen Brent Sopel and Brad Lukowich in three deals since Tuesday's victory over New Jersey.
That forced the Islanders to play five rookies against Toronto, including newly acquired 22-year-old defenceman Denis Grebeshkov and 21-year-old forward Jeff Tambellini.
"We got a little younger, we got new blood,'' Satan said. "If you can win the first couple of games in a row, it's going to spread through the whole team. The confidence will go higher.''
The Islanders start a five-game trip in Boston on Saturday before returning home to face eighth-place Montreal on March 21.
Toronto was only one point in front of New York at the deadline, yet decided to make a push for the playoffs by acquiring veteran defenceman Luke Richardson from Columbus. The biggest surprise in the Maple Leafs lineup against the Islanders was the exclusion of enforcer Tie Domi, a healthy scratch for the first time this season.
Just one week earlier, Domi played his 1,000th NHL game. The shake-up didn't help the Leafs, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.
"It was tough to lose a point in the shootout,'' Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "I won't say I was discouraged, more like disappointed.''
The Maple Leafs entered with the league's fourth-best power play but they didn't show it early. Toronto failed on its first four chances -- including a two-man advantage that lasted 1:36 -- and only recorded five shots in the frame.
But a too many men on the ice penalty with under five seconds left in the period helped the Leafs grab the lead after intermission.
McCabe fired a shot from the centre of the blue line that struck Islanders rookie defenceman Chris Campoli and caromed past DiPietro, who threw his hands up in disgust and yelled at his 21-year-old teammate.
New York got it back with 8:35 remaining in the second.
Nilsson got to a rebound of Satan's shot and put the puck in from the left circle for his third career goal in his 33rd game.
Notes: The Maple Leafs went one-for-seven on the power play and killed all seven Islanders advantages. They were 4-for-11 Tuesday in a 5-3 win over Montreal that snapped a five-game losing streak. ... Islanders RW Eric Godard returned from a seven-game absence caused by a viral infection.