Moulson’s Trick Claws Panthers – onto Toronto

By Gary Harding

It seems that during this good stretch for the Islanders, it is not always the same person that is responsible for an outstanding effort.  The credit has gone to a number of the players.

On Monday, Matt Moulson was the man.

His second career hat-trick, propelled the Islanders to a 5-1 victory over Florida, moving the boys from Uniondale further up the ladder of redemption, as the team takes to the road to face the Leafs and Flyers.

The Isles just pounded the Panther top submission in the first stanza with two tallies by Matt Moulson.  The Isles outshot the Panthers 16-3 in that period, and were just dominant all game.

On the end of a 5-minute power play, Radek Martinek got his redemption for getting hit, by scoring a interestingly deflected goal for his second tally of the season.  Midway through the second period, Josh Bailey, who missed on a great breakway earlier in the period, got his ninth of the season on a great effort crossing the crease, and swooping it by Tomas Vokoun, who has an outstanding career record against the Islanders.

Al Montoya who won his second consecutive game and sixth in his NHL career, did very little in the first two periods, and had 21 saves all told.  However, when he needed to, he kept the rebounds to a minimum, and kept his game basic, and limited Florida’s scoring chances.  Just a Santorelli power play goal was the only thing to get by the Islander netminder.

Interim Coach Capuano was quite pleased with the players efforts, and said their just working the system, as well as having fun.

Tonight, the Isles head north of the border to face the Maple Leafs.  Toronto slapped the Islanders around the last time they played (a 5-3 loss at Nassau).  Dion Phaneuf was getting a little nasty with John Tavares.  Just remember the last time that the Islanders remembered when someone banged around their players…. However, I am confident that the Isles will stick to their gameplan, play hard, play physical, but get pucks to the net, and make their chances good ones.  The Isles are 8-3-0 in their last 11, and with the exception of the Devils are the hottest team in the NHL.

The boys should be up and ready to go.  Another big test and two important points for the making.  Look for the Ontario boys (Moulson, Tavares, and Bailey among others) to have some extra giddy-up in their skates, and I expect them to do some damage.  Toronto has lost some key players, but are not a team to be taken lightly.