for this game

Tambellini provides spark as Islanders rally past Thrashers

Feb 2, 2007 - 5:31 AM
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Jeff Tambellini made an immediate impression for the New York Islanders.

Recalled from the minors earlier in the day, Tambellini set up three goals and linemates Viktor Kozlov and Miroslav Satan combined for three tallies and three assists as the Islanders staged a third-period rally to post a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in March after being drafted 27th overall in 2003, Tambellini played in the Islanders' season opener before being sent down to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. Returning due to captain Alexei Yashin's knee injury, the 22-year-old made a strong bid to stick around for a while.

Inserted on a line with a pair of underachievers, Tambellini helped New York erase a 1-0 deficit by setting up Kozlov at 8:06 of the first period and Satan midway through the second.

"It worked out real well," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said of his newly created line. "It's kind of like pitchers - sometimes you throw changeups. Tambellini sure added some speed to us and created some open ice."

Atlanta forged a tie 9 1/2 minutes into the third, but All-Star Jason Blake and Trent Hunter tallied for a 4-2 advantage and Tambellini picked up another assist on Kozlov's empty-netter with less than two minutes to go.

"It's the best I've felt in an NHL game so far," said Tambellini, the son of former Islander Steve Tambellini. "(I have) a little more experience and am getting used to the NHL. Hopefully, I can stick around a little bit. I want to do all I can to contribute to these guys."

"He's a good player," said Kozlov, who recorded his fourth multi-goal game of the season. "He can skate fast and he has skills. He's a good player."

Defenseman Sean Hill recorded two assists and former Thrasher Mike Dunham made 30 saves for the Islanders, who had lost five of their previous seven games.

"I don't really think about it," Dunham said of facing his former team. "It was nice to get out there (and start). We scored some timely goals and played a really good, solid game. It's just the satisfaction of getting the win, whether it's against Atlanta (or not.)"

"Mike Dunham was sensational tonight," Nolan said. "Sometimes goalies come back to a team that released them with something to prove, and he played well tonight."

Jim Slater had a goal and an assist and captain Scott Mellanby set up both tallies for Atlanta, which fell to 2-2-0 on its six-game homestand.

Jon Sim opened the scoring at 6:08 of the first, when his wraparound attempt at the right goalpost found its way past Dunham. But Kozlov drew the Islanders even less than two minutes later as his deflection of Satan's pass was inadvertently redirected between goaltender Kari Lehtonen's pads by Atlanta defenseman Greg de Vries.

Satan put New York ahead at 11:11 of the second, jamming in a backhander at the left post. The Thrashers had a golden opportunity to knot the game at 2-2 when Marian Hossa received a penalty shot after being pulled down from behind by blue-liner Brendan Witt, but the All-Star's shot rang off the right post.

"I got lucky on the penalty shot," Dunham admitted. "He hit the post. When you play the game, anything can happen, so whatever you're familiar with from practices or before goes out the window."

Atlanta did tie it at 9:37 of the third, when Slater knocked in a rebound. But Blake's wrist shot from the right faceoff circle deflected off defenseman Andy Sutton' stick and past Lehtonen with 8:04 to go.

"Blake is one of the most competitive guys I've coached in hockey," Nolan said. "When the game was on the line, he said, 'The big guy's going to come through.' He took it on himself and scored the game-winner."

Hunter converted a power-play chance with just under four minutes remaining, giving the Islanders a 4-2 bulge.

"We put ourselves in that position tonight, but we've got to get points," Mellanby said. "We tied it up, but we gave it away."

"Frustrating is a very little word," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "I don't think there's a word in the dictionary big enough to explain why that game was lost. I'll leave it at that."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 3 5
    ATLANTA 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - JON SIM 13 (SCOTT MELLANBY, JIM SLATER) 6:08
    NYI - VIKTOR KOZLOV 17 (MIROSLAV SATAN, JEFF TAMBELLINI)
    8:06
    2ND PRD: NYI - MIROSLAV SATAN 15 (JEFF TAMBELLINI, SEAN HILL) 11:11
    3RD PRD: ATL - JIM SLATER 4 (NICLAS

    Feb 1 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 5
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: NYI - (EN) VIKTOR KOZLOV 18 (MIROSLAV SATAN) 18:15

    Islanders vs. ThrashersFeb 1 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: NYI - (PP) TRENT HUNTER 12 (SEAN HILL, VIKTOR KOZLOV) 16:01

    Islanders vs. ThrashersFeb 1 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: NYI - JASON BLAKE 27 (RANDY ROBITAILLE, RADEK MARTINEK) 11:56

    Islanders vs. ThrashersFeb 1 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - JIM SLATER 4 (NICLAS HAVELID, SCOTT MELLANBY) 9:37

    Islanders vs. ThrashersFeb 1 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2
    ATLANTA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - JON SIM 13 (SCOTT MELLANBY, JIM SLATER) 6:08
    NYI - VIKTOR KOZLOV 17 (MIROSLAV SATAN, JEFF TAMBELLINI)
    8:06
    2ND PRD: NYI - MIROSLAV SATAN 15 (JEFF TAMBELLINI, SEAN HILL) 11:11
    MISSED PENALTY SHOTS:

    Feb 1 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: NYI - MIROSLAV SATAN 15 (JEFF TAMBELLINI, SEAN HILL) 11:11

    Islanders vs. ThrashersFeb 1 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - JON SIM 13 (SCOTT MELLANBY, JIM SLATER) 6:08
    NYI - VIKTOR KOZLOV 17 (MIROSLAV SATAN, JEFF TAMBELLINI)
    8:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 11 11


    Feb 1 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: NYI - VIKTOR KOZLOV 17 (SEAN HILL) 8:06

    Islanders vs. ThrashersFeb 1 7:24 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - JIM SLATER 4 (JON SIM, SCOTT MELLANBY) 6:08

    Islanders vs. ThrashersFeb 1 7:18 PM