You remember, little guy, goal scorer, brought lots of energy, fan favorite? Blake, yeah. Well, it looks like the Islanders found a suitable replacement in Mike Comrie, who scored two goals for the second straight game as the Islanders swept the season-opening home-and-home with the Sabres with Saturday night's 3-2 win.
Comrie, Guerin and Fedotenko (The leftovers line? Can we come up with something better?) have combined for 16 points in these first two games and put on another show in a much more defensively sound game than the Friday premiere in Buffalo. Comrie scored twice in the first nine minutes of the third period with his two linemates recording an assist on each goal.
The second was a joy to behold. Guerin banked a clearing pass off the boards and Comrie chased it down deep in the Sabres end for a scoring chance. He was stopped, but Fedotenko swept in, won the puck, slid behind the net and then fed Comrie in the slot with a perfect pass, and Comrie converted to make it 3-1. A sloppy/fluky goal by Hecht cut the gap to one but DiPietro shut the Sabres down at the end and had another solid game, despite a couple of near-misses. The Islanders' defense was much stronger tonight, particularly in front, and the special teams was outstanding once again.
Chris Campoli also scored for the second straight game, roofing a shot in the second period to tie the game 1-1. Campoli has looked terrific so far and the coaches are praising his maturity. A breakout season for him on the backline would be a huge boost for a team that -- and we know it's early -- has looked very, very promising thus far.
The Islanders last opened the season this well in 2001, when they won their first four games, all on the road. They'll look to continue the momentum Monday afternoon against the Caps on Kids' Opening Day. Take Sunday off, fellas. You deserve it.