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So the Islanders are looking to get their first road win of the season, on their first road trip – which takes them through the sunny and warm state of Florida. There were questions on who would be the starting goaltender tonight – but that question was just answered: Joey MacDonald is going to get the nod and DiPietro is likely to get the start for the Panthers game. It would be fitting in a way, he gets the chance to re-do the horrible outing during the preseason. It’s also a good move because if he plays this weekend, he gets plenty of rest (five days) until they face their next opponent.

For the Islanders to be successful tonight, they need to do all the little things they did last Saturday at home against the Blues. They need to play smart defensive hockey, get your opponent to earn the zone. At the same time, the team needs to be fast and smart on the puck, get traffic in front of Tampa’s goaltender (either Kolzig or Smith). Lastly, the team needs to stay out of the penalty box – no more stupid penalties. Gordon has said all along, if the penalty you take doesn’t save a goal, it is a stupid penalty. Those should be the words the Islanders live by this season.

As always you can follow along with the live tracker if you cannot watch or listen to the game, so stay tuned for updates as they happen live!

Live Tracker

First Period

7:40pm Some trouble with momentum early here, as both teams have had multiple off sides
7:43pm Comrie scores! Nice play by Gervais, Comrie pots the rebound! 1-0 Islanders!
7:47pm Some penalties upcoming, Isles should have had a penalty – but it may have just been evened up.
7:48pm Islanders power play, Prospal gets the gate for a slash. Slash that – Pock got an interference also.
7:50pm Weight just missed an easy cross ice pass for a tip in.
7:53pm You can tell Tampa watched tape from the Islanders-Buffalo bloweout, they just tried stuff from behind the net. As I was typing this a nice play from Hunter to Nielsen.
7:53pm Penalty on wunderkid Stamkos, hooking – Power play!
7:56pm Nothing really going on the power play, but it had a new look with Weight on the point. PP is 0/1
7:59pm Delayed penalty, Islanders power play – Krajicek for interference.
8:01pm Good puck movement, Streit got one in on goal from the point.
8:03pm Islanders 0/2 on the PP, Tampa power play coming up – Meyer called for holding.
8:08pm Nice kill by the Islanders, kept a lot of the Tampa shots to the outside and MacDonald had a few good saves there.
8:11pm Penalty on the Islanders, Hillen off for slashing.

Ok, so that period was a complete different style then what we saw on Monday. They managed to keep the pressure on Tampa in their own zone and even kept them from registering a shot on goal for 7 or 8 consecutive minutes. They need to stay out of the box if they want to keep momentum on their side.

Comrie looks determined as ever tonight, he had the early tally for the team and came close on a few chances in front of and around the net. Not really many things to pick apart as everyone has been rather sound positionally.

Second Period

8:29pm Islanders start the period killing a penalty.
8:31pm Killed off without incident. Islanders getting a power play here, Niskala for hooking.
8:34pm Pock with some nice shots from the point, Islanders just got called for a slash – it was Tambellini but they called it on Comrie.
8:37pm Penalty killers giving MacDonald lots of room to see the puck – he has made two nice saves on this kill so far.
8:38pm Tampa is 0/3 on the power play
8:41pm Another Isles power play coming up, Recchi for hooking
8:43pm I am going to be critical here, why is Nielsen out on the power play? He has made a few bad passes. Tambellini with a great chance, then Sim missed the rebound. Islanders 0/4 on the PP
8:45pm MacDonald just showed some great concentration on a play in front. Deflection in front and MacDonald picked it out of the air with his glove through multiple bodies in front.
8:48pm Islanders penalty, Weight for a hook. Unfortunate too as the Islanders were coming off a strong shift in the offensive zone.
8:52pm Another series of great saves by MacDonald. He is having an outstanding game – you could tell his confidence is increasing with each game he plays. Sim just drew a penalty – another power play Meszaros for slashing.
8:54pm Weight from the point, it’s tipped and they score! 2-0 Islanders, goal goes to Weight as it went off a Lightning player.
8:56pm Okposo with several great chances! Nice pressure after their power play here.
9:00pm Park just drew a penalty, he was taken down by Niskala – another power play coming up!
9:01pm 5-on-3 for the Islanders, Tambellini was held up by Ranger.
9:03pm Guerin just missed a gimme. Nice pressure, but Tampa clears.

Second period over, the Islanders have cut back on their penalties – but pressure on Tampa has gotten the bug and taken numerous penalties. Islanders have capitalized on one, but they have kept up great offensive zone pressure. Defensively they have been very sound and allowed MacDonald to see almost every single puck. They have kept Tampa to the outside and made them work for every square inch of open ice. If they bring this play into the third period, they will no doubt keep the lead.

Third Period

Well I ran out for food, but it took longer then I had hoped.

Vinny L makes it 2-1 and the Lightning continue to take penalties – the Islanders are on their 9th power play!

9:35pm Islanders power play over, they are now 1 for 9
9:39pm Penalty on Sim for tripping
9:42pm Bad bounce off the end boards, Prospal beats Streit with a second effort and the Lightning have tied the game at 2
9:45pm Some confusion as there was a delayed penalty with Sim’s penalty expiring…..but it is still 5 on 5
9:47pm Tambellini speeds into the zone, shoots off Kolzig right out to Hunter and he scores! 3-2 Islanders!
9:51pm Mallone knocks in a rebound, not two seconds after Howie Rose opens his mouth about time being on the Islanders side. 3-3
9:53pm Islanders penalty, horrible timing as Tampa has momentum after tying the game again.

Well, that didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. Mallone continues to play the role of Islanders killer and forced overtime. At least we are guaranteed a point. An aside here, I hate DVR’s as much as I like them. No matter when an Islanders game is, it seems my fiancee has two shows scheduled to record and the game gets turned off in the final minute, forcing me to scramble to cancel one to watch the waning seconds of the game. Stressful!

Overtime

Turnover by Kolzig, Nielsen strips him and dishes out front to Hunter – he scores! Islanders win 4-3!

I never thought the first thing I would be typing in overtime would be the Islanders game winning goal. How about hunter off to a hot start this year – 4 goals in 4 games! Two goal game tonight, not sure how many assists he has at this point, but it’s nice to see him rewarded for all of his hard work. I hope he finally reaches his potential under Coach Gordon!

Although there were some slight breakdowns this game, the Islanders played their game and really pressured Tampa in every zone. The goals that Tampa did score were the result of very hard work and only happened when they were able to keep pressure on the Islanders – something they were not able to do during the first two periods. The Islanders are now .500 with 2 wins and 2 loses in 4 games this season, so far they are not doing as bad as some analysts predicted them to be doing. They move into the Panthers game this weekend on a high note. It’s always good to open up a road trip with a win, it is even better when it’s against such a fast team like Tampa Bay.