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Islander News Articles 3-1-2006

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    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/story/395824p-335521c.html Isles lackluster after Turin break By PETER BOTTE DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER Rick DiPietro
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2006
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      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/story/395824p-335521c.html

      Isles lackluster
      after Turin break

      By PETER BOTTE
      DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

      Rick DiPietro was too tired to start, and his mostly rested teammates
      simply were unable to finish.

      With a chance to move within four points of the final playoff spot in
      the East, the Isles returned from the Olympic break with a breakdown-
      filled 5-3 loss to the Canadiens last night at Nassau Coliseum.

      And they returned with Garth Snow surprisingly starting in goal in
      place of DiPietro, the jet-lagged U.S. Olympian who hadn't played
      since last Wednesday's loss to Finland in the medal-round
      quarterfinals.

      "That's my call. I liked the way Snowy practiced (Monday). There's a
      big difference between Ricky sharp in practice and Ricky when he
      looks tired and not mentally sharp. That was part of the decision,"
      interim coach Brad Shaw said. "It's disappointing we lost. But we
      didn't take care of the puck around their net, and that's why we
      lost, not who (played in goal)."

      Making only his second start since Jan. 4, Snow was pelted for three
      goals on 13 shots through two periods before DiPietro replaced him
      and promptly let in a shorthanded goal and a 5-on-3 tally.

      "Snowy's been back here practicing and was fresh and he's played
      phenomenal this entire year," DiPietro said. "At the end of the day,
      (Shaw) thought it was best that Snowy play."

      The Habs built a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes despite being outshot 27-
      13. The Isles carried much of the early play, but were down 5-1 until
      Miroslav Satan potted two goals in the final 8:24 of the third.

      Chris Higgins, one of two L.I. products on the Habs (with Mike
      Komisarek), scored twice, including a shorthander against DiPietro in
      the third.

      http://www.nypost.com/sports/islanders/62579.htm

      DIPIETRO CAN'T SAVE ISLANDERS

      By EVAN GROSSMAN

      March 1, 2006 -- So much for starting the post-break schedule with a
      bang.

      Rick DiPietro was too tired to start the game last night, too run
      down from the Olympic tournament that ended last Wednesday for the
      American goalie following a quarterfinal loss, too groggy from the
      long trip back from Italy.

      He was too tired to start, but DiPietro was OK to finish a 5-3 loss
      to Montreal, sent out to man the cage for the third period after
      Garth Snow surrendered three goals on 13 shots in the game's first 40
      minutes. DiPietro came on in relief and allowed two goals on nine
      shots, forced into action on a night he thought he would have off.

      "On the bench, it's something you have to be ready for," DiPietro
      said. "It kind of caught me off guard. I thought Snowy was playing
      well for the action he was seeing ... It's a bit of a difficult
      situation, not expecting to play, but that's no excuse."

      Brad Shaw said it was his decision to not start DiPietro, who
      flourished at the Turin Games, and also said the rotisserie in net
      was not why the Islanders opened the final 26-game segment of the
      schedule with a loss. The coach was right; the Isles lost because
      they didn't score until the third period.

      Now they have 25 games to go, and the Isles are eight points out of a
      playoff spot after losing to the eighth-place Canadiens.

      "We didn't take care of the puck around their net," Shaw said after
      the Islanders flushed quality scoring chances against goalie
      Cristobal Huet. "That's why we lost."

      The Isles squandered many chances, like Jason Blake's and Oleg
      Kvasha's quality attempts early in the first and Miro Satan's pair of
      glorious opportunities in the second.

      They lost because they couldn't finish.

      Finishing wasn't a problem for the Canadiens, whose three-goal flurry
      ended with Long Island native Chris Higgins' blast that beat Snow to
      the short side with 41 seconds left in the second period.

      Higgins scored two goals in a memorable homecoming, beating DiPietro
      in the third on a 5-on-3 advantage.

      "When [DiPietro is] 100 percent and Garth Snow is 100 percent,
      [DiPietro] gives us the best chance," Shaw said.

      "When we're playing our best hockey, he's a big part of that. You
      always want your best players on the ice, and he's proven he can win
      games and can be a factor in games. No. 1 goalies can't play in 82
      games."

      Mark Parrish got the Isles on the board with a power-play rebound
      early in the third, and Satan scored two goals in a three-minute span
      late in the period.
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