NHL Game Summary - St. Louis at NY Islanders
(Saturday, October 11th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 5, St. Louis 2
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Scott Gordon picked up his first win as an NHL head coach behind the strong play of backup goaltender Joey MacDonald, as the New York Islanders won their home opener over the St. Louis Blues, 5-2.
With regular netminder Rick DiPietro on the bench nursing his surgically repaired hip, MacDonald saved 24-of-26 shots to pick up the win for New York, which dropped its season opener to the Devils on Friday.
Mike Comrie, Trent Hunter, Sean Bergenheim and Andy Hilbert scored in the first period for the Isles.
"If you look for the perfect play, it's not necessarily always going to be there, so you put the puck on net if you don't have anything else and see what happens," New York's Bill Guerin said. "We made some nice plays off some good shots on net."
Offseason acquisition Chris Mason made his Blues debut and yielded four goals on 33 shots. Keith Tkachuk and Brad Boyes scored for St. Louis, which was coming off a five-goal performance in a season-opening win over the Predators.
A four-goal first period was more than enough for New York. After a Blues turnover behind the net, Comrie scored less than 2 1/2 minutes into the game on a rebound, and a pair of goals 1 1/2 minutes apart put the hosts ahead 3-0.
Hunter scored on a power-play at the 13:47 mark, weaving through defenders and letting a slapshot fly to the back of the net, while Bergenheim trickled one in with a wrister at the top of the right circle.
St. Louis got its first goal of the game with 2:37 left in the first. Boyes scored for the second straight game on a deflection of Paul Kariya's centering pass, but New York answered right back.
Hilbert's short-handed tally with 46 ticks left made it a three-goal game again, as Mark Streit gathered a rebound and fed Hilbert, who smacked the disc out of the air and past Mason.
"We just basically got outplayed in the first period," Mason said. "I would probably like to have every one of those goals back, Joey MacDonald made a couple of huge saves for them. He made big saves all night when the team needed it, and I just don't think we were ready for what they threw at us."
Both goaltenders stoned the opposition on breakaways in a scoreless second period. Mason went down to stop Jon Sim, and MacDonald denied Tkachuk, who found himself open coming out of the penalty box.
MacDonald also added a sprawling save in the same period, but failed to stop Tkachuk in the third, as the veteran stuffed in his third goal on the young season at the 7:47 mark of the final period.
The Blues' Jay McClement had a chance to make it a one-goal game with three minutes to go, but MacDonald was up to the task with a right pad save.
Guerin added an empty-net goal with 49 seconds left to seal the win.
"Billy (Guerin) gave me the puck and said, 'I hope there are many more to follow,'" commented Gordon on his momentous win.
These two teams did not meet last year...St. Louis had won its last three as the visitor against the Islanders...Kariya posted two assists for the second straight game...Each team returns to the ice on Monday, as the Islanders stay home for a battle with the Sabres, and the Blues travel to Toronto for a game against the Maple Leafs...Islanders defenseman Radek Martinek left with an undisclosed injury in the first period after a big hit behind the net. He did not return to the game.
10/12 00:54:39 ET