The New York Islanders have not had much reason to celebrate this season to date, but Wednesday evening on Long Island was another story.
With the perennial power Pittsburgh Penguins and star Sidney Crosby in Uniondale, the Islanders got the last laugh in a 2-1 shootout victory at Nassau Coliseum.
Crosby saw his 25-game point run come to a halt, ending a streak that saw the face of the NHL tally 26 goals and 24 assists since a Nov. 3 game in Dallas.
Part of shutting down that streak fell on the shoulders of New York goalie Rick DiPietro (37 saves, save on Crosby in the shootout). The netminder got the call two nights after fellow goalie Dwayne Roloson allowed seven goals in a 7-2 loss to the rival New York Rangers.
“That wasn’t me. It was a complete team effort,” DiPietro told the media afterwards. “The defensive corps played with a lot of focus and a lot of heart. When we’re playing smart in our defensive zone, we’re a good hockey team.”
Rob Schremp, Frans Nielsen and P.A. Parenteau (game-winner in fourth round of shootout) registered tallies for New York in the shootout, as the Isles won for the fifth time in seven games. With the wins recently, New York has managed to rid itself of the NHL’s worst record (New Jersey).
Josh Bailey registered New York’s lone goal early in the second, while Chris Conner notched Pittsburgh’s lone goal. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in the loss for the Pens.
“We talk about belief in one another and that’s the most important thing,” interim head coach Jack Capuano told reporters. “They’re a good bunch of guys; high-character kids, got some good veteran leadership on our team and they’re starting to believe in one and other and working hard.”
The Islanders have one game left in 2010, battling the Detroit Red Wings on the road Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.
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Written by Dave Thomas