New York, NY – Opening night the stage was set 13,351 fans packed Nassau Coliseum to see the New York Islanders take on the Dallas Stars. In what was a high scoring, hard hitting affair the Stars (2-0) was able to take the second game in its East Coast swing by defeating the Islanders (0-1) 5-4 as the two teams would need a shootout to decide a winner.
Stars center Mike Ribeiro who was a +2 in 22:12 total ice time was one of the many stars for Dallas as he was able to make a sweet backhand-to-forehand move past Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro in the shootout frame. Ribeiro who also recorded two assist was gritty all night long for Dallas. Also playing very well in the Stars victory was Brenden Morrow who scored twice.
Jamie Benn and Stephanie Robidas also added goals for the Stars as they were able to win their first two road games for the first time since 2006. Also on the score sheet was
In the scariest moment for Islanders fans who have to watch a very injured Islander squad take the ice. It was with 3:17 left in the opening period when star John Tavares left after colliding with Dallas right-winger Adam Burish at center ice.
It was a gut wrenching moment for Islanders fans as Tavares was the Number One overall pick in the 2009 draft; thankfully he was able to skate to the dressing room under his own power.
“I knew I bumped into somebody but I didn’t know what happened,” Burish said after the game. “The next thing I knew I turned around and he was laying there.” He would continue by saying. “It was an unfortunate thing where he was turning when I was skating that way and we just kind of collided. I didn’t mean to hit him in an open ice situation like that, hopefully he will be okay.”
Afterward it was announced by head coach Scott Gordon that Tavares has a mild concussion and will be evaluated by the team doctors on Monday.
Left winger Matt Moulson had this to say of the Tavares injury, “It was tough to see Tavares go down, but I don’t think it was too serious.”
The Islanders fought back on power play goals as James Wisniewski, Doug Weight, Blake Comeau all scored for New York. Then to tie the two teams up at 4-4 left winger Matt Moulson had a rebound goal with 2:39 remaining. Moulson who was able to gain control of a flurry of shots that the Islanders were hurling at keeper Kari Lehtonen and finished off a rebounded shot to send the two teams into overtime.
“There are a lot of new guys and a lot of injuries so the comeback tonight showed a lot of character for the team,” defensemen James Wisniewski said after the game.
Ironically enough for the Islanders during Scott Gordon press conference the lights accidentally went off. It may have been symbolism as the Islanders power play was off for most of the evening.
“The first two periods the power play and the penalty kill were not very good, but as the game went along we started clicking and scored three power play goals. You got to tip your head to Lehtonen and move on to Monday afternoon.”
Kari Lehtonen had a stellar night in the cage making 43 saves for the victory. Lehtonen even stopped the shots in the shootout frame which were taken by Frans Nielsen, P.A. Parenteau and Moulson. For the Islanders keeper Rick DiPietro finished the night with 18 saves.
Up next for the Islanders is a Columbus Day 1:00 p.m. Monday matinee against the rival New York Rangers.