And we thought the Toronto game was exciting.
The full house at the Coliseum Saturday night not only saw the Islanders score five -- count 'em -- FIVE goals in a game but were also treated to some Eddie Shore-type hockey, with a handful of fights and tough defense as the Isles went 4-0 against the Devils this season with a 5-2 victory. It was the Isles' fourth win in five games and the first time the team scored as many as five goals in a game since Oct. 18.
Quite a bit different than the 5-2 loss at Ottawa two nights earlier. Instead of being bombarded with shots, winning goalie Wade Dubielewicz had some help in front of him, and his defensemen not only clamped down on Jersey but joined the attack, with three d-men scoring goals.
Chris Campoli, who loves to jump in on offense, got the Isles the lead with a shorthanded goal in the first and then Marc-Andre Bergeron scored on the power play in the second. The Devils rallied to tie, but then Andy Sutton of all people scored what proved to be the game-winner, one-timing a nice feed from Mike Sillinger from the top of the slot. Sean Bergenheim finally scored a goal, ending a 25-game drought, and Mike Comrie added the empty-netter. Sillinger had another strong night with three assists, as did Richard Park, who had two helpers.
Sutton recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick, with a goal, assist and a fight, taking on Michael Rupp. It was the third bout of the evening. Comrie and Mike Mottau threw down in the first after Comrie creamed Mottau with a devastating hit. Bill Guerin and David Clarkson exchanged pleasantries right before the Sutton-Rupp main event.
As if that wasn't enough good news, Kyle Okposo has signed for three years at $2.55 million. Okposo helped the USA improve to 3-0 at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic with a 3-2 win over Russia, assisting on the first goal of the game.
Okposo will join the organization when he returns but it isn't clear whether he'll report to Bridgeport or make the jump to the NHL immediately. Figure the Isles, as long as they're winning, play it safe and start him with the Sound Tigers while Garth Snow weighs his options on how to improve the team for the playoff push.