The Islanders came into tonight's game versus the Caps in desperate need of a win. After getting blown out in Toronto 8-1 and dropping their next match to Philly, it was their last chance to take something positive away from the road trip.
Lucky for us Isles fans, they did.
With all three metro area teams in action tonight, the search was on for which channel would feature the Long Island squad. Not surprisingly, it was again channel 14 (Cablevision spillover). If this doesn't tell you that the Isles are the red-headed stepchild of NY-area sports, I don't know what does. But I digress.
Up 2-0 (Bergenheim followed by Guerin) after two periods, the Islanders soon faced a real gut-check. Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal disallowed (which I thought Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe made too much out of in the booth) and the Caps soon leveled the scoring at 2. Ovechkin first put a laser past DiPietro; Tomas Fleischmann then chipped one in and the game had turned decidedly against the visitors.
However, this team did not lay down like those in years past might have. Washington's Chris Clark was called for a trip in his offensive zone, and the Isles got their power play unit up and running. Brian Berard gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead that they would only add to. The final was 5-2 when it was all said and done. New captain Bill Guerin netted the first Isles hat trick of the season, the aforementioned Berard contributed 3 points (1G, 2A), and on the night the Islanders struck for three power play goals (on 5 chances).
Chris Campoli ruined the theme by helping out with 4 assists, but other than that we have no complaints. He has been playing great.
Lastly, about those other metro area teams...the Devils were blanked in Philly and the Rangers were stung by a previously winless Atlanta squad. The Isles may not get respect, but for at least tonight the trifecta was complete.