Nolan’s late goal downs Islanders

November 21, 2009

Owen Nolan made the crowd go wild.

Not quite the homecoming Kyle Okposo had hoped for.

Just when it looked like the Islanders would play their 11th overtime period in 22 games, Owen Nolan notched his second goal of the night with a little over a minute to play in the third period to break a 2-2 tie, shock the Islanders and give the Wild a 3-2 win at Xcel Energy Center last night.

With 1:07 remaining in regulation, Nolan scored after Eric Belanger intercepted Blake Comeau’s clearing attempt at the blue line and connected with Nolan down low for the game-winner.The oldest guy on the team, Nolan, was the difference maker, not only offensively but defensively as he dove down to block a shot in the waning seconds as well. 

“He’s been a leader by example. It’s every day in practice,” said Richards, who declared the Wild’s last game, a 3-2 home loss to Phoenix, their worst performance of the season. “You ask the players to do things out on the ice, and he’s the first one doing it.”

Jon Sim had a goal and an assist and Josh Bailey also scored for the Islanders, who lost in regulation for the first time in six games.  After the game, Head Coach Scott Gordon was pissed to say the least, especially regarding his team’s 0 for 6 on the power play. 

“I thought that we had some great chances that we just didn’t cash in on,” Gordon said. “If we cash in on them, point-blank opportunities, we’re not even talking about giving up a bad goal in the third.”

Biron started in net and was not good, making 26 saves but allowing another inexcusable goal to open the game. 

“This game is the way it is sometimes,” Biron said. “You let some opportunities slip, and you lose these types of games.”

Despite the loss, the Islanders are 3-1-2 in their last six games and have had a successful road trip so far.  Hopefully this is just a small bump, and doesn’t turn into a pothole.  The Isles resume play tonight against the Blues in St. Louis (7-8-4).



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