NEW YORK – And up and down season in the NHL continued on Friday night. The New York Islanders handed the Penguins a 4-3 loss despite Evgeni Nabokov being under the gun for bad start to his season. Josh Bailey scored with less than two minutes left in regulation to rally the Isles past the Pens.
The Islanders scored three goals in the third period to complete the rally and give the Isles a much needed win in the division.
“I think I’d be a little disappointed right now if we didn’t find a way to get one in,” Bailey said. “[Nielsen] made a good pass and I found a way to put it in. It was exciting.”
“We’re back to .500, and now we have to start climbing the standings,” Dubinsky said. “This is big for us.”
The Ducks righted their ship and clipped the Ottawa Senators, 2-1 depriving the Sens of building off their win over Detroit earlier this week. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and assist for Anaheim as they got back to win column on the road.
“He played great,” Getzlaf said. “We can’t ask for anything else. He stopped the pucks that he was supposed to and some that he shouldn’t, so he played awesome tonight. I’m happy for him.”
Also successful on the road were the Vancouver Canucks who ended their big road swing with a 5-1-1 record after downing the Blues in St Louis.
“Throughout the trip, we won in different ways,” said Canucks coach John Tortorella, whose team improved to 8-4-1. “We kept our composure.
“Day by day, it’s a really good trip but you need to flat-line it here and just stay within ourselves and just keep on working as a team.”
Tortorella, fired by the New York Rangers after last season, guided the Canucks to an 8-4-1 record. Apparently he is a better coach than the New York Rangers organization thought or the Canucks are a better team than the Rangers were or ever will be.
NY Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3
Columbus 5, Toronto 2
Anaheim 2, Ottawa 1
Buffalo 3, Florida 1
Vancouver 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)
Colorado 4, Carolina 2
The Sabres became the first NHL team in more than 17 years to dress four teenagers in a game when Zemgus Girgensons (19), Mikhail Grigorenko (19), Rasmus Ristolainen (18) and Nikita Zadorov (18) all skated in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Panthers. While each player had already appeared in a game this season, Friday marked the first time all four dressed for the same contest.
The last time any NHL team had four teenagers in its lineup was on March 10, 1996, when the original incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets played 19-year-olds Shane Doan, Chad Kilger, Deron Quint and Oleg Tverdovsky in a 5-2 loss to the Red Wings. The Sabres last dressed four teenagers for the same game during the 1982-83 season, when Dave Andreychuk, Paul Cyr, Phil Housley and Hannu Virta played in 21 contests together.
TEENAGE DREAM (CONTINUED)
Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen scored his first career NHL goal, becoming the sixth 18-year-old to record a goal this season – also, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, Calgary’s Sean Monahan, Carolina’s Elias Lindholm, Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon and Buffalo’s Nikita Zadorov. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time six 18-year-olds scored goals in one NHL season was in 2003-04, when Patrice Bergeron, Brent Burns, Dan Fritsche, Nathan Horton, Milan Michalek and Eric Staal each did so.
Zadorov netted his first career goal in Buffalo’s previous game (Wednesday versus Boston). The last time a team had two different players under the age of 19 score in consecutive games was Oct. 15 and 17, 2009, when Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly (18 years, 250 days) and Matt Duchene (18 years, 274 days) did so.
Matt Duchene recorded 2-1—3, his fourth multi-point game of the season, to help the Avalanche improve to a League-leading 9-1-0. The team’s 18 points through 10 games match the franchise mark established by the Nordiques in 1994-95 (9-1-0) and equaled by the Avalanche in 2000-01 (8-0-2).
“It’s special, going from where we’ve gone the last year,” said Duchene after the game. “It feels great to be 9-1, the best team in the League, but you can’t be satisfied. We know how fast that can turn. We’ve been there before early in seasons and really slowed down going down the stretch. So we’ve got to keep on moving the way we are.”
Duchene has eight goals through the team’s first 10 games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that matches the highest total by an Avalanche player through the team’s first 10 games of a season since the franchise relocated to Denver in 1995. Peter Forsberg (2000-01), Milan Hejduk (2003-04) and Chris Stewart (2010-11) are the only other Avalanche players to accomplish that feat.
DUBINSKY PROPELS BLUE JACKETS
The Blue Jackets scored four third-period goals, including Brandon Dubinsky’s shorthanded winner, to break a 1-1 tie and pick up their first victory over the Maple Leafs since Dec. 30, 2010. Entering Friday, the Blue Jackets had recorded just five third-period goals in their first nine games combined.
Dubinsky’s winner came during a 3-on-4 shorthanded situation. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Blue Jackets scored such a goal was on Oct. 26, 2005, when Adam Foote netted the overtime winner in a 3-2 victory over the Predators.
NABOKOV, ISLANDERS AVENGE PLAYOFF LOSS
Evgeni Nabokov made 39 saves (on 42 shots) and Josh Bailey scored the winning goal with 1:40 remaining in regulation to help the Islanders defeat the Penguins in the teams’ first meeting since the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The clubs combined for four goals in the third period, including three in a 69-second span (Frans Nielsen, Deryk Engelland and Pierre-Marc Bouchard).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Nabokov has won all five games in which he has face 40 or more shots as an Islander. He also is 10-0-3 in his last 13 such games dating back to his time with the Sharks.
60 IS NOT ENOUGH MINUTES
The Canucks closed out their season-long, seven-game road trip with a 5-1-1 record thanks to Ryan Kesler’s overtime winner with 14.7 seconds remaining. The team also won its prior two games in extra time, picking up a 5-4 overtime victory Tuesday versus the Islanders and a 3-2 shootout win Thursday at the Devils. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Canucks are the third NHL team since 2005-06 to win three consecutive games in one season, all on the road in overtime or via a shootout, joining the Flyers (December 2005) and Blue Jackets (April 2013).
ANDERSEN WINS, SIGNS EXTENSION
Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen made his first career NHL start, stopping 26 shots for his second victory. Following the game, the team announced it had signed Andersen, the 87th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, to a two-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season. The 24-year-old native of Herning, Denmark, has played in 49 career AHL games with Norfolk, posting a 26-18-1 record with a 2.14 goals-against average, .931 save percentage and five shutouts.
* Islanders captain John Tavares recorded an assist to extend his point streak to nine games (4-8—12), the second-longest streak of his NHL career (12 games in 2011-12) and tied for the longest streak in the League this season (Calgary’s Jiri Hudler: 4-8—12).
* Canucks captain Henrik Sedin posted an assist to extend his point streak to eight games (3-7—10). Sedin has registered at least one point in all nine of Vancouver’s road games this season, totaling 2-9—11.
* Islanders forward Matt Moulson scored his sixth goal of the season, pushing his point streak to five games (5-3—8).
* Canucks forward Ryan Kesler recorded a pair of goals, including the game-winner, to extend his point streak to four games (4-3—7).
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored his eighth goal of the season, upping his League-leading point total to 18 . . . Blues forward Alexander Steen also scored his eighth goal (8 GP), matching his 40-game total from 2012-13 . . . Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth made 44 saves for his first win of the season . . . Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim collected an assist in his first appearance since Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals . . . Penguins defenseman Kris Letang played a team-high 25:32 in his season debut . . . David Clarkson played in his first game as a Maple Leaf, logging 15:41 of ice-time and four shots on goal . . . Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, scored his first career goal . . . Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason played in his 600th NHL game . . . Blues forward T.J. Oshie skated in his 300th NHL game . . . Senators defenseman Jared Cowen played in his 100th NHL game . . . The Avalanche improved to 15-4-4 versus the Hurricanes/Whalers since relocating to Denver, including nine consecutive victories on home ice . . . Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson had some fun with teammate Ryan Wilson during an in-game interview . . . St. Louis Cardinals Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso attended the Blues-Canucks game . . . Bobby Orr’s recently-released book, “Orr: My Story,” has been named a New York Times best-seller.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Edmonton @ Phoenix, 3:00 p.m., SNET-W, FS-A
New Jersey @ Boston, 7:00 p.m., MSG PLUS 2, NESN
Pittsburgh @ Toronto, 7:00 p.m., CBC, ROOT
San Jose @ Montreal, 7:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, CSN-CA
NY Rangers @ Detroit, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, MSG, FS-D
Buffalo @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., MSG-B, SUN
Philadelphia @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., CSN-PH, MSG PLUS
Winnipeg @ Dallas, 7:00 p.m., CBC, TXA 21
Minnesota @ Chicago, 8:00 p.m., FS-N, WGN
St. Louis @ Nashville, 8:00 p.m., FS-MW
Washington @ Calgary, 10:00 p.m., CBC, CSN-DC
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
Four games highlight CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada telecast: David Clarkson plays his first home game as a Maple Leaf when Toronto faces Pittsburgh; the 8-1-1 Sharks visit the Canadiens for the first time since Dec. 4, 2010; the Jets and Stars face off for the second time as Central Division rivals; and the Capitals continue their season-long, five-game road trip against the Flames, who return home after a five-game road swing of their own (1-4-0).
HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER
Five teams – the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Red Wings, Islanders and Predators – host their Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Nights Saturday. For more information about Hockey Fights Cancer, as well as a team-by-team listing of Awareness Nights.