Guerin’s OT Marker Lifts Isles Over Devs, 4-3|
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Monday, October 22, 2007
When Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie were signed this offseason, Islanders GM Garth Snow envisioned the duo scoring overtime goals at Nassau Coliseum, followed by jubilant jumps for joy into each others arms.
Tonight, he got his wish.
Despite squandering a 3-1 lead in the third period, Guerin deposited a shot past Kevin Weekes on the power play with 3.7 seconds left in overtime, giving the Islanders the final marker in a 4-3 victory.
With four goals in his last two games, Guerin looks to be settling into his role as Islander captain. That’s quite a difference from going goalless after the first six games of the season. Playing with Mike Sillinger and Andy Hilbert on even strength over the past two games, Guerin sees a difference in his play, but likes the way the team has played as well.
“We’re 2-0 since the changes,” he said. “There’s chemistry there.’
While the Isles came out victorious, things weren’t originally sunshine and daisies. Zach Parise took advantage of a turnover in the Islanders zone and snapped a wrist shot past Rick DiPietro less than a minute into the game, giving New Jersey a 1-0 lead after the first period.
“We had to get back to our game, which is puck support and being available for your teammates,” coach Ted Nolan said. “We did that much better than in the beginning of the game.”
Continuing their solid play over the past few games, the line of Josef Vasicek, Sean Bergenheim and Miroslav Satan scored two of the team’s three goals in the second period. After a traffic jam appeared in front of the New Jersey net, Vasicek took a pass from the circle from Satan, snuck in front of Weekes and fired a wrist shot just inside the left goalpost to tie the score. 2:04 later, Satan would end a seven-game goal drought to start his season and put the Islanders ahead 2-1, while Comrie added a tally of his own, with 7:57 remaining in the second.
However, the two-goal lead evaporated in the third, after tricky goals by Jay Pandolfo and Brian Gionta. Pandolfo’s goal came on a wrist shot in between Andy Sutton’s legs that DiPietro (28 saves) had problems seeing, while Gionta’s goal was surreptitiously deflected after a shot from the point.
“They came out hard in the third period and capitalized on a couple of weird bounces,” DiPietro said.
Going into the overtime on the penalty kill, the Isles kept the Devils fumbling in the offensive zone, unable to get the game-winning tally. After the successful kill, it was Devils defenseman Andy Green who went to the sin bin for tripping, with only 32 seconds remaining in the overtime period. Needing only 28 seconds to deliver a win, the Isles continued to put bodies in front of the net and Guerin put in a rebound in front of a flustered Weekes, inducing a 4-3 Isles victory.
Now 5-3 through their first eight games, the Islanders will have a week to rest before taking on the Hurricanes at home.
“You don’t want that sour taste in your mouth for a week,” said Guerin. “You better use the opportunity to rest, because the games are going to come fast and often.”
Notes: Bryan Berard left the game in the second period after only 8:08 of ice time, due to a strained groin. He will be reevaluated on Monday, five days before the team’s next game against Carolina.