Saturday, December 22, 2007

Game recap: Islanders 4, Penguins 2

Break out the New Year's champagne early, folks. The Islanders finally broke the three-goal barrier. That they won on the road against the division-rival Penguins is perhaps more important than the goal total, but when you look at how this team has struggled offensively, it's nice to have finally popped that cork.

Since November 1, a 23-game stretch, the Isles had not scored more than three goals in a game. Two-goal leads may as well have been 20. But now Blake Comeau is in the house. In his second game with the big club the 21-year-old assisted on Andy Hilbert's game-tying goal and scored what proved to be the game-winner with a slap shot midway through the third. Just 37 seconds later, Trent Hunter gave the Isles a two-goal lead to secure the victory.

A quick primer on Blake Comeau (not to be confused with Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo or Lake Como, the Italian Rivera resort where George Clooney lives large with supermodels): He helped Team Canada win gold at the 2003 U18 tournament in Russia, and then led the Kelowna Rockets win the Memorial Cup a year later. In 2005, Comeau scored 21 goals with 53 assists for 74 points in 60 games, and also helped Canada win gold at the IIHF Under 20 World Championships, leading the team in points under head coach Brent Sutter. So the guy is a winner.

He had 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points with the Sound Tigers last season. He wasn't exactly setting Bridgeport on fire this season, with three goals and six helpers in 25 games, but he has a great opportunity now with Chris Simon suspended for 30 games.

Comeau teamed with Hilbert and Tim Jackman for a productive line, while Miro Satan scored 44 seconds into the game for his fourth point (three goals) in four games against the Pens this season.

Up next, the Capitals tonight at the Coliseum in what Isles fans hope will be an early Christmas present. Hope to see many, many of you there!

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