Devils 1, Islanders 0
Johan Hedburg and the New Jersey Devils had little trouble with
the New York Islanders’ sputtering offense.
Petr Sykora had a goal and Hedberg made 23 saves to earn his
second shutout of the season and the 19th of his NHL career in
leading the Devils to a 1-0 victory Friday.
Sykora scored with a snap shot during a power play with 5:47
remaining in the second period.
”I thought we played a very solid team game,” Hedberg said.
”The penalty kill was outstanding. We stuck to our game
New Jersey has won four of its last six games. New York has lost
four in a row. In that stretch, the Islanders have been outscored
16-3 and have been shutout in three of the four losses.
”How would you think?” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said in
response to the Islanders’ frustration level. ”We had three power
plays right off the bat and didn’t get many shots to the net. They
might have had more shots on the PK than we did on our power
Sykora’s power-play goal was his fifth of the season. He snapped
a bullet from the slot over Al Montoya’s glove from the slot.
”Power-play shot from the point, breaks a stick and (puck)
lands on one of the most lethal guys in the league for a long time.
Put in a great spot. Good goal,” Montoya said. ”You hope to have
that shot, but if he puts it in the right place, I’m all right with
(allowing that goal).”
Montoya, who had missed New York’s last six games, started in
goal for the Islanders and finished with 22 saves, including a
spectacular pad save on Zach Parise’s first period semi-breakaway
that kept the game scoreless.
However, Montoya’s teammates did not generate much in terms of
quality scoring chances despite matching New Jersey with 23 shots
on goal. The Devils clogged the neutral zone. When New York gained
entry into the offensive zone, New Jersey forced the Islanders to
play on the periphery. The Devils also blocked 21 shots.
”We did a lot of good things tonight,” Devils coach Peter
DeBoer said. ”Blocked shots, got pucks out when we needed too (and
were) solid through the neutral zone.
”It’s nice to get the win. I thought we deserved it.”
Michael Grabner had New York’s two best chances to score, both
occurring in the third period.
Grabner lost the puck on a breakaway in which he deked Hedberg
out of position after taking it away from New Jersey rookie
defenseman Adam Larsson six minutes into the third.
Grabner was granted a penalty shot with 6:50 remaining in the
game after being pulled down on a breakaway. But Hedberg made a
left pad save on the backhand attempt.
”Everyone saw what happened. I didn’t score. It’s not just
penalty or breakaway, had open chances and I have to find a way to
score at least one. First one, he dove out – tried to poke check me
– and I just couldn’t get (it) behind (him). Second one I had
something else in mind and just tried to shoot it backhand,”
Grabner said after a postgame treatment session.
”It’s definitely frustrating. I think we’re getting chances. I
don’t know what to do … just got to find a way to get one by him.
It seems we’re getting a little tight and just try too hard to get
New Jersey was 1 for 2 on the power play while New York went 0
Notes: On Friday night, the NHL fined Islanders forward John
Tavares $2,500 for slashing Parise in the second period. No penalty
was called on the play. … Calgary claimed former Islanders’ left
wing Blake Comeau off of waivers Friday morning. The Islanders had
placed Comeau on waivers Thursday. Comeau had not recorded a point
and was minus-11 in 16 games with New York. … New York and New
Jersey will complete their home-and-home series Saturday at the
Prudential Center. … New Jersey scratched Mark Fraser and Rod
Pelley. New York scratched Marty Reasoner and Nino Niederreiter.
… The Islanders wore their black sweaters. … The announced
attendance was 15,358.