Not much more than hours after dealing veteran goalie Dwayne Roloson, the New York Islanders embarked on a western Canadian road trip following a stop in Detroit Dec. 31.
If the first game of the ventures to Canada was any indication, the Islanders will do just fine on this trip.
New York (12-19-6) opened its Canadian portion of the trip in Calgary Monday night, scoring a 5-2 win over the host Flames.
With Roloson now with Tampa Bay, and with regular goalie Rick DiPietro battling an injury after recording 13 saves and the Isles ahead 4-1, Nathan Lawson, a Calgary native, got the call and registered 28 saves in the victory at the Saddledome.
While Lawson was turning aside most of the shots he faced, John Tavares and Matt Moulson each tallied a pair of goals for the visitors, with New York now 7-1-1 in its last nine appearances on ice. Michael Grabner added the other tally for New York, who was coming off of a big win New Year’s Eve in Detroit.
Following the game, DiPietro labeled his injury as a “little tweak” and wasn’t sure how long he would be out – if at all.
“I don’t know if a man’s body is supposed to be contorted in those kind of positions,” DiPietro told The Associated Press. “I felt a twinge and hopefully it’s nothing serious.”
Lawson, recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League after the Roloson trade, allowed just one goal on the night.
”It feels good to get a win (the team) and get a few games under my belt now,” the 27-year-old goalie stated to the AP. “It’s a dream come true. I just want to keep rolling with it and prove myself now.”
As for Calgary, it was a disappointing loss against a team that earlier this season had the lowest point total for some time in the NHL.
“We know we didn’t deserve to win that game from the way we started,” Calgary’s Jerome Iginla told the AP. “We got outworked in the first period, beat to pucks, outhustled, made foolish mistakes. It’s not a case of taking them lightly. We know they had beat Detroit and were 6-1-1 coming in.”
For the Isles, the trip continues Thursday evening in Edmonton.
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Written by Dave Thomas