for this game

Blake, big third period extend playoff hopes for Islanders

Apr 6, 2007 - 8:13 AM
UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- Jason Blake and the New York Islanders are not ready to pack their bags yet.

Blake highlighted a third-period rally with his 40th goal of the season as the Islanders preserved their slim hopes for a spot in the postseason with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Collecting their second straight win following a four-game losing streak, the Islanders (38-30-12) closed within a point of the ninth-place Maple Leafs and two points behind eighth-place Montreal with two games remaining.

"We're supposed to be out of it, but here we are," New York center Mike Sillinger said. "We're alive for another day."

The Islanders still have two games remaining, including a matchup at Philadelphia - the worst team in the NHL - on Saturday.

"I believe in positive thinking," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "Do good things, and good things happen to you."

New York entered the third with a 2-1 lead before Toronto's Carlo Colaiacovo tied with his seventh goal of the season just 2:12 into the third period. That was when Blake displayed his veteran leadership, beating Andrew Raycroft with a wrist shot just 94 seconds later after skating in from the left circle.

"I shot the puck and fortunately it went in," Blake said. "That one just worked out fortunately. I was going to shoot right away, but I saw I has more time. I took two or three more steps and it went in."

"I didn't get Blake's (shot) at all," Raycroft said. "(It was) seeing-eye."

His 40th goal signaled a career high for Blake, who has averaged nearly 29 in the last four seasons with the Islanders.

"Considering we got the win and are still playing, it feels good," Blake said about the achievement. "It's a milestone."

The goal by Blake opened the floodgates for New York, which grabbed a 4-2 advantage on Arron Asham's marker 11:49 into the third. Miroslav Satan rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter inside the final two minutes.

Backup goaltender Wade Dubielewicz finished with 28 saves for the Islanders, including 11 in the third.

"We did a good job of shutting those guys down," Dubielewicz said. "You get those 40-shot games, and it's almost easier to play because you're zoned in. You get three shots and you can't get into the game."

"(Dubielewicz) has played great here for us," Nolan said. "When you have goaltending, you can win. Confidence starts from goaltending out."

The Islanders also had to have gotten confidence from a strong start, as Ryan Smyth opened the scoring with his 36th goal late in the first period. Sillinger added his 26th of the season with 26 seconds left in the second for a 2-1 lead.

Raycroft ended with 22 saves for the Maple Leafs, who dropped their seventh straight road game.








  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 1 1
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - RYAN SMYTH 36 (MIKE SILLINGER) 16:57
    2ND PRD: TOR - JOHN POHL 13 (DARCY TUCKER, CARLO COLAIACOVO) 13:36
    NYI - (PP) MIKE SILLINGER 26 (TRENT HUNTER, TOM POTI) 19:34
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3R

    Apr 5 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) MIKE SILLINGER 26 (TRENT HUNTER, TOM POTI) 19:34

    Maple Leafs vs. IslandersApr 5 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - JOHN POHL 13 (DARCY TUCKER, CARLO COLAIACOVO) 13:36

    Maple Leafs vs. IslandersApr 5 8:52 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - RYAN SMYTH 36 (MIKE SILLINGER) 16:57
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 9 9
    NYI 9 9
    GOALIES: TOR - ANDREW RAYCROFT
    NYI - WADE DUB

    Apr 5 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYI - RYAN SMYTH 36 (MIKE SILLINGER) 16:57

    Maple Leafs vs. IslandersApr 5 8:06 PM