for this game

Roberts, McKenna propel Lightning over Islanders

Feb 8, 2009 - 5:48 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Gary Roberts provided the break, and rookie Mike McKenna made the most of it.

Roberts scored with nearly 6 1/2 minutes remaining in the third period and McKenna turned aside all 28 shots he faced as the Tampa Bay Lightning recorded a 1-0 triumph over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Defenseman Steve Eminger and rookie Steven Stamkos each notched an assist for Tampa Bay, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

"(McKenna) has been tremendous in net. He's getting his opportunity and he's showing people what he can do," Tampa Bay All-Star Martin St. Louis said.

"I thought we battled pretty well, and they're a tough team to beat. We got a big goal from a guy (Roberts) who hasn't been in the lineup for a really long time, and that's what we needed."

Yann Danis made 27 saves for New York, which has lost two straight following a four-game winning streak. The Islanders dropped to 2-6-0 in their last eight meetings with the Lightning.

Starting his second NHL game, McKenna stopped seven shots in the first period, nine in the second and 12 in the third for his first career shutout.

The blanking also set a franchise record for fastest into a tenure. Corey Schwab recorded a shutout in his third game with the Lightning on October 15, 1996 against the Buffalo Sabres.

"It felt like another game," McKenna said. "I try to be as calm as I can and just do my job. We had Ryan Malone, Steve Eminger and Matt Smaby blocking shots on penalty kills and just playing great in front of me, and that makes a load of difference."

"How can you not root for a kid like that?" Tampa Bay interim coach Rick Tocchet asked. "He played a great game against Pittsburgh (on Wednesday) and he gets a shutout tonight. We're looking for players to rise to the occasion, and Mike did, and he came up with a big save for us. This is his lifetime dream to play in the NHL, and he has a chance."

Islanders coach Scott Gordon also credited McKenna but questioned his team's chances.

"I thought he played well, but I thought also we could have had more traffic in front of him," Gordon said. "Obviously, it's a good game for him."

With 6:26 remaining in the third period, Eminger unleashed a shot from the right faceoff circle. New York blue-liner Bruno Gervais blocked the puck, but Eminger regained possession and wristed another shot on net.

Playing in his second straight game after missing 28 due to injury, Roberts redirected the puck past Danis for his third goal of the season.

"I haven't seen a guy train harder than him," Tocchet said of the 42-year-old Roberts. "He's probably at the rink training harder than any guy I've ever seen in my career, and that was a big-time goal. That's a typical Gary Roberts' goal, a deflection late in the game to win it. I've seen it happen a lot in his career."

McKenna made the slim advantage stand, stopping Kyle Okposo on a breakaway with 27 seconds remaining after the rookie stepped out of the penalty box.

Serving a hooking penalty, Okposo exited the box and grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone. The 20-year-old skated in and wristed a shot that McKenna turned away with his left arm.

"We have to keep winning," McKenna said. "You can talk about personal performances all you want, but we really do have a shot at the playoffs if we really push here at home, and that would be incredible to help lead us there."






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    Islanders 0, Lightning 1  FinalFeb 8 12:29 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: TAM - GARY ROBERTS 3 (STEVE EMINGER, STEVEN STAMKOS) 13:34
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: NYI - 0 OF 2, TAM - 0 OF 3.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 7 9

    Feb 7 10:01 PM
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    Islanders 0, Lightning 1  3rd - 2:22Feb 7 9:56 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: TAM - GARY ROBERTS 3 (STEVE EMINGER, STEVEN STAMKOS) 13:34

    Islanders 0, Lightning 1  3rd - 6:26Feb 7 9:49 PM
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    Islanders 0, Lightning 1  3rd - 6:26Feb 7 9:49 PM
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    Islanders 0, Lightning 0  3rd - 6:55Feb 7 9:46 PM
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    Islanders 0, Lightning 0  3rd - 10:45Feb 7 9:39 PM
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    Islanders 0, Lightning 0  3rd - 13:01Feb 7 9:37 PM
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    Islanders 0, Lightning 0  3rd - 19:55Feb 7 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 7 9 16
    TAM 16 5 21
    GOALIES: NYI - YANN DANIS
    TAM - MIKE MCKENNA

    Feb 7 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 7 7
    TAM 16 16
    GOALIES: NYI - YANN DANIS
    TAM - MIKE MCKENNA

    Feb 7 8:15 PM