Mark Eaton, the unlikely hero – gets the Islanders two points

Feb 02, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CAN; The New York Islanders celebrate the winning goal scored in overtime by defenseman Mark Eaton (4) in game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. The Islanders defeated the Senators 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

Who would have thunk it.

121 games….where have you been Mark Eaton?

His first goal in since 2010 gave the Islanders the extra point in a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Kanata last night.

In a time where scoring comes from the first line, the Islanders got their contributions for people not names Tavares, Moulson or Okposo.

Matt Martin got a great pass from PA Parenteau and snapped a shot passed Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, giving the Isles the 1-1 deadlock in the third period.  For Martin, that was his sixth goal of the season, establishing a team high.

Zach Smith scored his 13th of the season just before the second period closed out – giving the Sens the 1-0 lead.  Smith, on the Penalty Kill, came down the left wing, and took a high shot that Evgeni Nabokov had in his possession and let get by him.

 

 

Feb 02, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CAN; New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) stretches at the start of the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

The defense, on both sides was solid.  Nabokov and Anderson in nets for both teams were outstanding.  Both teams third and fourth lines, shut down the offensive groups.  The Islanders played a simple, but effective road game, and kept  themselves in the game.

In overtime, PA Parenteau came down the wing and saw Mark Eaton to the left of Anderson, and did his best Jeremy Roenick impersonation of a spin-o-rama move and slid the puck past the unsuspecting goaltender, which gave the Isles the victory and the extra point.

Now – the Isles are only one under the NHL 500 mark (21-22-7) and have now moved into a tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning for 11th place in the East.  They are now nine points away from the promised land of 8th place, but with a few games in hand, it is indeed reachable.

The results show that the top line did not make any contributions, but they could not be any happier for them.

“It’s nice to see a guy like Mark Eaton score,” John Tavares said to the media after last night’s game. “He has done a lot of great things for us this year, the little things that don’t always get a lot of press.”

It is nice to see the little things make the top of the score sheet.

Tonight – it is the Sabres entering the Nassau Coliseum.  Another big game against a team that the Isles need to take the two points from.  They need to keep their game consistent, and look for the opportunities to take advantage of.  I would believe that Al Montoya will get the start tonight – hoping to make the team get his sixth win in their last eight games.

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