Islanders Blow Two-Goal Lead, Fall To Thrashers

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Thrashers 5, Islanders 4

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) – Alexander Burmistrov scored the eventual game-winner late in the third period, as the Atlanta Thrashers rallied past the New York Islanders, 5-4, at Nassau Coliseum.

Johnny Oduya had two goals for the Thrashers, who have won three of four and nine of 11 overall. Bryan Little and Anthony Stewart also lit the lamp.

Chris Mason, making his first start since November 14, stopped 25-of-29 shots to take his first win since November 3.

Rob Schremp and Blake Comeau each had a goal and two assists for the Islanders, who have lost five in a row and 19 of their last 20 games. Matt Moulson had a goal and an assist for New York, which also got a goal from Matt Martin.

Rick DiPietro turned aside 30-of-35 shots in defeat.

With the score tied at three, the Thrashers went in front on a crazy short-handed goal. The referee dropped the puck for a faceoff at the right circle and Little quickly fired the puck into the upper right corner of the net past a shocked DiPietro with 8:25 to play.

Evander Kane had a chance to increase the margin but was stopped on a penalty shot at the 14:12 mark, but the visitors were able to make it 5-3 on the ensuing faceoff. The Thrashers won a right-circle draw and Brent Sopel’s shot from the point was deflected in by Burmistrov.

New York scored a rare power-play goal to make things interesting. Comeau, positioned in front of the net, took a pass from Schremp and chipped the disc past Mason with 1:16 remaining. It was the Islanders’ first man-advantage score in 47 chances.

Atlanta was then able to hold off the home team with the net empty in the final minute.

New York scored the lone goal of the first period at the 16:53 mark. After Atlanta turned the puck over at its own blue line, Comeau fired a shot on net from the slot. The puck sailed wide and hit off the backboards, but Martin was in a perfect position at the side of the net to jam the disc past Mason.

Moulson’s goal at the 2:44 mark of the second stanza made it 2-0, but Stewart found the back of the net with 1:59 left to start Atlanta’s comeback.

Oduya scored a pair of goals early in the third to put the Thrashers ahead. At the 5:45 mark, Oduya controlled the puck at the point and carried to the slot before beating DiPietro with a wrister.

Atlanta took the lead at 7:03 when Oduya lit the lamp again. Nik Antropov slid a pass to the slot for Oduya, who somehow wristed a bouncing puck into the back of the net to make it 3-2.

The Islanders tied the game just over two minutes later. Andrew MacDonald’s shot from the left point set up a rebound in front for Schremp, who chipped the puck past Mason.

Atlanta has won three in a row against the Islanders, including both meetings this season…The Thrashers started a three-game road trip on Saturday by winning on Long Island for the first time since December 23, 2008…Atlanta went 0-for-5 on the man advantage.


Atlanta Thrashers At New York Islanders: Islanders Try To Avoid A Five-Game Slide

(Sports Network) - The last time the Islanders faced the Thrashers, they posted their longest losing streak on club history.

Though that epic drought has come and gone, New York still carries a modest four-game slide into this evening's rematch with Atlanta at Nassau Coliseum.

Thrashers defenseman Dustin Byfuglien's goal 90 seconds into overtime on Nov. 21 in Atlanta sent the Islanders to a club-record 13th straight loss, and the club would lose its next game as well before snapping its lengthy skid at home over New Jersey on Nov. 26.

The Islanders, though, have lost their last four games since, including Thursday's 5-2 setback in Boston. Though Frans Nielsen created some excitement with a short-handed penalty shot goal, New York gave up two power-play goals and one short-handed of its own in the setback.

Rob Schremp also scored and Rick DiPietro, whose misplay of the puck on the man advantage led to the Bruins' short-handed tally, finished with 32 saves.

"Frustration builds when you lose, it doesn't matter how close," said DiPietro. "The margin for error in this game in this league at this level is really small.

"The difference between winning and losing is a play here, a play there."

Both John Tavares and Radek Martinek were hit in the arm by shots from mammoth Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara and left the game briefly before returning. The two should play tonight barring any setbacks.

The Isles are just 1-15-3 over their last 19 games, have an NHL-worst 15 points on the season and have lost seven of their last eight at home, where they play four of their next five and are 3-6-2 this season.

Atlanta kicks off a three-game road trip this evening after having a franchise record-tying six-game home winning streak snapped with last night's 4-2 setback to the Avalanche. Niclas Bergfors and Bryan Little scored in the loss for the Thrashers, who had won two straight and eight of nine overall.

"We weren't ready for the game," netminder Ondrej Pavelec said. "In the first two periods, we shot the puck and didn't play the net. We played a great third period, but it wasn't enough."

Making his 11th straight start, Pavelec allowed three goals on 28 shots faced. Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsey is expected to rest his 23-year-old netminder tonight in favor of Chris Mason, who will make his first start since Nov. 14.

The Thrashers' victory over the Islanders was their second straight and fifth in the last nine meetings, but they have lost two straight and seven of their last 11 on Long Island.

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