Islanders Fall To Coyotes, 4-3

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Coyotes 4 Islanders 3

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) – Radim Vrbata scored the first goal of the game and also lit the lamp in the second round of the shootout, as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated the New York Islanders, 4-3, at Nassau Coliseum.

Wojtek Wolski and Martin Hanzal also scored in regulation for the Coyotes, who had lost the first two contests of their six-game road trip. Jason LaBarbera made 41 saves.

Jesse Joensuu and Michael Grabner each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who failed to win back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game win streak from October 16-21. Rob Schremp also scored in defeat.

With starter Rick DiPietro out with a left knee injury, New York recalled goaltender Nathan Lawson on an emergency basis from Bridgeport of the AHL. Lawson stopped 32-of-35 shots in his NHL debut.

After each team scored in the first round of the shootout, Vrbata beat Lawson with a backhander. After Schremp fired a wrister off the post, Kyle Turris scored to seal the victory for Phoenix.

The Islanders outshot the Coyotes by a 19-8 margin in the first period, but it was Phoenix that got on the board.

At the 6:57 mark, Shane Doan one-timed a shot from the point. Vrbata deflected the puck past Lawson for a power-play score.

New York got on the board at the 9:17 mark of the second stanza. John Tavares led a rush down the right side of the ice and slid a cross-ice pass to Joensuu, whose wrister beat LaBarbera.

Grabner gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead with 5:14 remaining in the middle frame. Joensuu controlled the puck in the slot and slid a pass in front for Grabner. The puck hit off Grabner’s skate before crossing the goal line. Replay confirmed that Grabner didn’t kick the disc into the net.

The Coyotes tied the contest at the 4:03 mark of the third. Doan skated around the net for a wrap around. The puck slid off his stick but went right to an open Wolski for an easy goal.

Schremp’s power-play goal at the 6:22 mark put New York in front again. Grabner’s one-timer from the point set up a rebound at the side of the net. It took Schremp two shots to beat LaBarbera.

With the clock showing 1:28, Hanzal lit the lamp to make it a 3-3 game. A shot from the point left a rebound in front for Hanzal, who easily put the puck in the back of the net.

Grabner’s delay of game penalty with 11 seconds left in regulation put Phoenix on the power play to start the overtime period. LaBarbera made four saves in OT, while Lawson turned aside three shots.

The Islanders had won two in a row against the Coyotes…Phoenix starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov missed the game with an upper-body injury. He is going back to Phoenix for further examination…Lawson was 2-4-2 in nine games with Bridgeport this season…The Islanders went 1-for-8 on the power play, while the Coyotes went 1-for-7 with the man advantage.


Phoenix Coyotes At New York Islanders: Isles Look For Two Straight Wins

(Sports Network) - While the Coyotes' goaltending situation on Thursday made for an interesting story, there was nothing memorable about the end result of the game.

Losers in six of its last nine, Phoenix continues its tour of New York this evening with a matchup at Nassau Coliseum against the Islanders, who are coming off just their second victory in nearly two months.

After opening a six-game road trip with a 3-0 loss in New Jersey, the Coyotes headed to Madison Square Garden the following night to battle the Rangers. Starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, though, came down with the flu and with little time to make a roster move, Phoenix was left without a backup.

So, the Coyotes signed 26-year-old amateur netminder Tom Fenton, who works in the community relations department at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. A former collegiate goalie at American International in Springfield, Massachusetts, Fenton didn't get into the game but endured a whirlwind day nonetheless.

"It's 2:30, I'm getting my haircut, I'm packing up my things. I was done taking grad classes at Manhattanville College and getting ready to go home for Christmas," said Fenton, who all of a sudden found himself dressing for an NHL game at one of the world's most famous arenas.

"It was pretty amazing," he said. "I mentioned to the guys that I was surprised about the ice. I had never seen NHL ice before."

On the ice, Jason LaBarbera made just his second start since Nov. 10, but couldn't hold a two-goal lead as the Coyotes dropped a tough 4-3 shootout decision to the Rangers.

Taylor Pyatt, Adrian Aucoin and Martin Hanzal notched the goals for the Coyotes, who have dropped seven of their eight ventures beyond regulation this season. Ray Whitney celebrated his 1,100th NHL game with an assist on Hanzal's goal in the second period.

The Coyotes now go for their first victory on this road trip against an Islanders club that has won just twice in its last 22 games. New York snapped a six-game slide on Thursday with a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Matt Moulson, P.A. Parenteau and Blake Comeau all scored during a 99-second span in the first period and Rick DiPietro made 30 saves as the Isles were able to hang on.

"It's been a rough go lately, but we're not thrilled with the way we played," said Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald. "The important thing is we got two points."

Both of New York's victories over its 22-game span have come at home, where it is 4-7-2 this year. The club hasn't won back-to-back games since a three-game win streak from Oct. 16-21.

The Islanders have won three of their last four versus the Coyotes, including last year's 5-4 shootout tally in Phoenix. New York has won two straight as the host in this series as well.

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