One team is heading for first place; the other is heading for the golf course -- but it certainly didn't look that way at the Coliseum tonight, did it? On to the trick:
1. Wade Dubielewicz wins his second straight start and is now 5-4 in his last 9 starts (dating back to Xmas). Dubie hasn't allowed more than three goals in any of these starts.
2. Richard Park finally got his 10th goal of the season, scoring for the first time since January. It was his 70th career goal. Last season, Park needed two goals in game 82 to reach double digits.
3. Kyle Okposo and Matthew Spiller each earned their first Coliseum points. It was Spiller's first NHL point since March 28, 2006, and his second (both assists) in 65 career NHL games. Jeff Tambellini also earned an assist tonight--giving him 4 points in 30 NHL games.
and a few more:
4. The Isles cut the Penguins lead in the season series to 4 games to 3 and 8 points to 6.
5. The Isles finish the season 3-2-0 in games televised nationally by Versus, all at home. (Wanna bet they don't air five games from Long Island next season :) )
6. Aided by thousands of tickets distributed in fundraisers, the Isles announced the game as the 11th home sellout. They are 7-3-1 when the Coliseum is soldout. One group won the trip to China by selling over 3900 tickets, including 800 by one family.
7. It was the Isles' first home win in over a month (February 21), ending an 0-5 streak.
8. The Isles pp improved to 7-76 since Valentines Day with a pp goal --the first of Sean Bergenheim's career. The Isles have scored exactly one pp goal in three straight games (First time since Dec 29-Jan 3, when they scored 6 pp goals in a three game span) and five times in the last seven games.
9. Pascal Dupuis' five-game point streak was ended--but by the birth of his third child, and not by the Isles.
10. The Isles won 35 of 55 face-offs; Josef Vasicek was dominant, winning 18 of 21, including one that led to the pp goal.
11. Hart Trophy candidate Evgeni Malkin had a rough night, going -3. Marian Hossa was also -3.
12. Despite the win, the Isles remain 26th (two point behind Columbus and three behind Phoenix). The Coyotes have 6 games to play, the Blue Jackets 7, and the Isles 5.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick. Eric has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, and celebrated his 26th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2008.