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03/03/2013 7:32 PM EST
Islanders beat Senators 3-2 in shootout
NY ISLANDERS 3, OTTAWA 2 (OT)
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- John Tavares found enough energy to lead
the New York Islanders to a rare home win.
Tavares and Frans Nielsen each scored in the shootout, lifting
New York to a 3-2 victory over the slumping Ottawa Senators on
Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves as the Islanders earned their third
win in 12 home games this season. He also stopped Jakob
Silfverberg and Daniel Alfredsson in the shootout.
"We battled hard and we were fortunate to win the skills
competition in the shootout," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.
The Senators (12-7-4) have lost three in a row. They also have
dropped eight of nine on the road to fall to 3-6-2 away from
Nielsen scored to open the shootout against backup Robin Lehner.
Tavares' goal came after Nabokov made his two stops.
The Islanders (9-11-2) improved to 3-8-1 at home after losing
the first three in a seven-game homestand.
"I wasn't 100 percent but I gave it my best," said Tavares, who
was described as "under the weather" by Capuano before the game.
"I'm glad we got the win."
Tavares added that he had trouble sleeping the night before the
"John did what elite players do," Capuano said. "He found a way
Michael Grabner's unassisted goal late in the third period put
the Islanders up 2-1. Grabner intercepted a clearing attempted
by the Senators and rifled the puck past Lehner for this eighth
goal of the season at 16:31.
But Kyle Okposo was sent off for tripping with just under two
minutes left, and the Senators capitalized on the power-play
opportunity. Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch's first career goal
caromed off the stick blade of Islanders defenseman Travis
Hamonic and eluded Nabokov with 1:09 to go.
Both teams had excellent chances in overtime. The best save was
a glove stop by Lehner on Hamonic from the right circle. Nabokov
made a terrific save on Colin Greening in the opening shift of
the extra five-minute session.
"It's disappointing but we did play well in the second and third
periods," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "Lehner did a good
job for us and our penalty killing was very good."
Brad Boyes scored a first-period goal for the Islanders, and
Mika Zibanejad responded midway through the second.
Defenseman Mark Streit helped set up Boyes' goal at 7:48 when he
rushed the puck up the ice and passed to left wing Matt Moulson,
who sent it back to Boyes skating through the slot. He sent a
wrister over the glove and left shoulder of Lehner for his fifth
of the season.
The Senators played the third-stringer Lehner for the second
time this season. Starting goaltender Craig Anderson is out with
a sprained right ankle and backup Ben Bishop played Saturday in
a 2-1 loss at Philadelphia.
Zibanejad tied it at 8:36 of the second. Nabokov gingerly shot
the puck around the right boards and it was intercepted by Chris
Neil, who shot it back toward the net. Hamonic then tried to
clear the puck away but instead put it on the stick of
Zibanejad, who shot it past Nabokov for this fourth of the
The 19-year-old Zibanejad was Ottawa's first choice and the
sixth overall in the 2011 draft.
The Islanders had lost four straight and six of their past nine
against the Senators, including a 3-1 loss in Ottawa on Feb. 19
when goaltender Rick DiPietro made his final start before being
waived and sent to AHL Bridgeport.
Capuano emphasized that despite the problems at home, he
remained confident that his team's work ethic would generate
"We have nine wins but we can do better," Capuano said. "This
game is over and now we're focus on Montreal for Tuesday. We
have to try to be better every day."
NOTES: Ottawa was without D Mike Lundin, who suffered a
concussion Saturday on a hit by Philadelphia's Harry Zolnierczyk
... Alfredsson played his 1,153rd game for the Senators. He is
the longest serving captain in the league (appointed in October
1999) and is the only player to record 1,000 points with the
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