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Shootout in the Desert

January 10, 2010

Matt Moulson beats Jason LaBarbera for the game-winner in the shootout

In one of the strangest games of the season, the Islanders won the game 5-4 in their fourth shootout in the past 7 games. Matt Moulson nabbed the second point for the Islanders after going top shelf to end a 2-2 stalemate in the sixth round.

For all the drama the shootout normally brings,  however, it was pretty anticlimactic compared to what happened in regulation, particularly the second period.

Ed Jovanovski delivered a nasty elbow to John Tavares’ head on the Islanders scoring play with 16.6 to play in the first. Jovanovski received a 5-minute major and game misconduct for the blow, a penalty that carried over into the second.

Well, that’s sort of an understatement.

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett elected not to put a guy in the penalty box to start the second, deciding instead to what for a whistle later in the penalty. No whistle came, however, and when the penalty expired, Dwayne Roloson was smart enough to identify the situation and make a good heads-up play.

Although the Coyotes were literally down a man on the ice, the penalty expired leaving them technically at even strength. Roloson made a couple of plays to negate what would’ve ben icing calls that would’ve resulted in a stoppage in play. Instead, the Islanders extended for an additional 4:58 of power play time.

The Islanders then capitalized on a pair of power-play goals within 35 seconds of each other, first on Mark Streit’s slapshot at 9:06 with the 5-on-3, then on Bailey’s slapper with the man-advantage.

Speaking of the latter, Bailey had an absolutely phenomenal night, earning his second consecutive multi-point  game as he finished with a goal and two assists. Bailey also kept the Islanders in the shootout when he went five-hole against Labarbera to tie it 2-2.

“Excellent,” Scott Gordon said of his performance. “That’s why I used him in the shootout. I sensed he was playing with that type of confidence.”

Rob Schremp and John Tavares also had two assists apiece and Kyle Okposo scored his third goal in as many games.

Oh, and I forgot. The Coyotes scored three unanswered goals in the third to tie the game and send it into overtime. Minor details….

Crazy one to end the trip on, but the Islanders have to be pretty happy to bring home four out of six possible points back with them to NY.

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