NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Vancouver
(Tuesday, March 16th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 5, Vancouver 2
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Rookie John Tavares posted two goals and three assists to lead the New York Islanders to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place.
"I proved myself earlier in the year offensively," Tavares said. "But overall my game has come a long way. I feel I've been playing well the last couple of weeks and making a big difference."
Matt Moulson added a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who have won three straight following a four-game winless skid. Dwayne Roloson was strong with 35 saves, while Dylan Reese and Freddy Meyer also scored for the victors.
With 67 points and 12 games remaining in the season, the Eastern Conference playoff race is taking shape with the Islanders on the outside looking in. New York sits seven points behind the current eighth-seeded Boston Bruins.
Kyle Wellwood and Alexandre Burrows scored for the Canucks, who saw their seven-game home win streak halted and failed to record at least one point for only the second time since the Olympic break (6-2-1). Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 12 shots through two periods before being pulled in favor of Andrew Raycroft, who ended with seven saves.
"We came into the game not respecting the competition," Luongo said.
After Colorado's win in St. Louis earlier Tuesday, Vancouver's lead atop the Northwest Division was trimmed to three points.
The Islanders opened the scoring at the 6:22 mark of the first period on Reese's first career goal. The rookie defenseman held control at the centerpoint and released a wrist shot that made its way through traffic and past Luongo.
A roughing minor called on Vancouver's Mikael Samuelsson at 11:29 led to New York's second goal.
Only 16 seconds into the power play, Tavares scored his 19th goal of the season. He held control along the goal line to the right of the net and passed to Blake Comeau in the low slot. Comeau's one-timer was saved, but the rebound was put home by Tavares from the right post.
Moulson, who had earlier in the game hit the post with a wrister from the left circle, lit the lamp at the 15:30 mark of the second period for a 3-0 Isles lead. From the bottom of the right circle, Tavares' blind backhand pass perfectly found the stick of Moulson, who redirected it into the back of the net from the top of the crease.
However, only 65 seconds later, Wellwood cut the Vancouver deficit to two.
Exactly two minutes after Wellwood's tally, the hosts drew within 3-2 via Burrow's 32nd tally of the campaign. The play was made possible by Daniel Sedin, who held control behind the net and sent a beautiful backhand pass from a sharp angle to the cutting Burrows, whose backhander from the goal mouth beat Roloson.
New York regained its two-goal advantage with eight seconds remaining before the second intermission. Tavares streaked down the right-wing side and attempted a stuffer at the near post. The puck trickled past Luongo's far pad and deflected off the leg of Meyer, who was falling down in the crease.
Roloson was solid down the stretch and stopped all nine shots he faced throughout the final stanza before Tavares' empty-netter capped the scoring.
The Isles halted their nine-game road skid...Despite the loss, Vancouver is still 25-8-1 at home this season...The last Islanders victory in Vancouver was on March 19, 1999...New York was 1-for-4 on the power play and held the hosts without a goal on both of their chances with the extra skater.
03/17 01:53:13 ET