NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at NY Islanders
(Monday, January 17th)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, NY Islanders 2
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Mattias Tedenby and Rod Pelley each notched a goal and an assist, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored for the third time in three games for the Devils, who have recorded a point in four straight games (3-0-1). Vladimir Zharkov netted his first career NHL goal and Dainius Zubrus also found the net for New Jersey, which twice tallied a pair of goals less than a minute apart.
"I'm going to tell you that he's more aware of his defensive game," said New Jersey head coach Jacques Lemaire about Kovalchuk. "He's playing better, shooting pucks, playing good. He's responsible defensively; he's getting to know that game, as well."
Martin Brodeur made 27 saves in the victory, the first for the Devils in three meetings with the Islanders this season.
P.A. Parenteau and Michael Grabner scored for the Islanders, who have lost four of their last five. New York has been torched for 23 goals during the past five games. Kevin Poulin stopped 22 shots in defeat.
The Devils scored first just 4:25 into the contest and added a second only 57 seconds later. Zharkov started the play on the first goal with a pass from behind the net to Tedenby in front. Tedenby's attempt slid through the crease, but Zharkov had come out from behind at the left side of the cage and swiped it into the empty side of the net.
A penalty to Jack Hillen at the 5:09 mark led to Kovalchuk's power-play goal for a 2-0 edge. Just 13 seconds after the penalty, Andy Greene sent a pass from the right point to the left circle for Kovalchuk, who rifled a one-timer high over the right shoulder of Poulin for his 13th goal of the season.
Tedenby increased the New Jersey lead to 3-0 at 6:40 of the second period. He took control of a blocked shot in the left circle, skated to the slot and faked a shot before moving to the right side of the crease and lifting a backhander home.
The Islanders scored twice in a span of 54 seconds to pull within one.
Blake Comeau set up the first goal when he raced around New Jersey defenseman Mark Fraser at the blue line and skated toward the net before sending a pass to the top of the crease for Parenteau, who swept a backhander past Brodeur for his 11th goal.
The Islanders attacked again after the faceoff and Josh Bailey sent a pass from the top of the slot to Grabner, who had slipped behind the New Jersey defense. He fanned on his shot from in close, but the puck still managed to trickle under Brodeur.
New Jersey answered with a pair in a 54-second span to regain a two-goal margin. Pelley knocked in a rebound with 3:01 left for his third goal and Zubrus flipped in the rebound of a shot by Brian Rolston that first caromed off Patrik Elias.
The Islanders put the puck in the net with just over a minute left in the second when Parenteau chipped a shot over a fallen Brodeur. All four officials discussed the play and determined that Grabner had made incidental contact with the netminder, although it appeared that Devils' defenseman Mark Fayne had pushed the Islanders forward into the crease.
"It's their discretion, it's a tough call," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.
Brodeur turned aside all 10 shots he faced in a scoreless third period.
"When they get a couple-goal lead, it's tough," Capuano added about the Devils. "They controlled the blue line tonight."
Kovalchuk has three goals and two assists in his last four games...Fraser and Jason Arnott each picked up two assists for New Jersey...The Devils finished 1-for-2 on the power play and killed off each of New York's three chances with the extra skater...Poulin has allowed a goal in the first five minutes of the game in each of four starts...Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro, who made 40 saves in Saturday's game against Buffalo, was considered a healthy scratch.
01/17 20:47:18 ET