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Islanders storm back to upset Devils

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  • billbarr@earthlink.net
    Jan. 31, 2001 SportsLine.com wire reports UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- John Vanbiesbrouck stole a game for the New York Islanders. Vanbiesbrouck made 36 saves, including
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2001
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      Jan. 31, 2001
      SportsLine.com wire reports

      UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- John Vanbiesbrouck stole a game for the New York
      Islanders.

      Vanbiesbrouck made 36 saves, including all 24 in the final 40
      minutes, as the Islanders rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the New
      Jersey Devils 3-2 Wednesday night.

      "I love it," Vanbiesbrouck said. "It showed we can dig in our heels
      and come back against the Devils."

      The opening 20 minutes all went New Jersey's way, as it took 14 of
      the 16 shots in the period and left the ice with the 2-0 lead.

      Patrik Elias opened the scoring 84 seconds into the game when he
      finished off a play that started with a missed pass in New York's
      zone. Jason Arnott passed to Petr Sykora, who quickly fed Elias, who
      sent a wrist shot past Vanbiesbrouck.

      Sykora made it 2-0 when he blasted a slap shot from the top of the
      left circle between Vanbiesbrouck's pads.

      After the period, Islanders coach Butch Goring criticized his players
      in the locker room.

      "The first period was pretty embarrassing for us," Vanbiesbrouck
      said. "Butch gave it to us pretty good, and fortunately, we
      responded."

      The Islanders surprised both the Devils and themselves when they
      capitalized on two New Jersey defensive zone turnovers to tie the
      game in a 16-second span.

      Dave Scatchard made it 2-1 at 7:22 when defenseman Colin White fanned
      on a pass. Bill Muckalt grabbed the puck and quick-passed over to
      Scatchard, who beat goalie Chris Terreri with a wrist shot.

      Before the 11,126 could stop cheering, the Islanders tied it when
      Bobby Holik bobbled a pass. Tim Connolly pounced on the puck and
      quickly fired a 35-foot slap shot from the left side that hit the
      upper right corner.

      "I think it was more of a case of that they were forced to give up
      those pucks on our forecheck," Scatchard said. "It was nice to see us
      capitalize."

      It wasn't nice for New Jersey coach Larry Robinson to see.

      "We were in total control in the first period, and then we let them
      back into the game by sitting back," Robinson said. "Those two goals
      took the wind out of us."

      The Islanders broke the tie at 4:59 of the final period during a
      power play. Kenny Jonsson had the puck at the red line along the left
      boards and flipped a pass straight ahead to Mark Parrish. Parrish
      gloved the pass down and broke in 2-on-1 with Brad Isbister. Parrish
      pushed a soft backhand pass to Isbister, who slammed it home as
      Terreri went down to block the pass attempt.

      After that, it was up to Vanbiesbrouck to hold off the Devils. He did
      so with several outstanding stops, including a key save on Alexander
      Mogilny with 5½ minutes left. Mogilny, all alone on the right side,
      sent a quick wrist shot toward the net. Vanbiesbrouck made a left pad
      save.

      "I didn't see the pass across, but I saw it was (Mogilny),"
      Vanbiesbrouck said. "He scored a hat trick on us the last time we
      played, so I know how dangerous he is."

      The Islanders celebrated their second win in their past three games,
      while the Devils failed to gain a point for the first time in eight
      games (5-1-0-2).

      "I wouldn't say it was a case of them winning the game," Robinson
      said. "I would say it was more of a case of us giving them the game."

      Meanwhile, Goring sang the praises of his goaltender.

      "John made some huge saves for us and won the game for us," Goring
      said. "When the game was on the line, he was sensational."

      Notes
      Terreri's last start in goal was the last time New Jersey lost in
      regulation, a 5-4 decision in Boston on Jan. 16.

      The game marked only the second time this season the Islanders
      managed points in the standings after trailing by two goals at any
      point in the contest. On Oct. 21, they managed a 4-4 tie at
      Washington after being down 2-0.

      Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara, the tallest player in the league at
      6-feet-9, played in his 200th NHL game.

      Islanders general manager Mike Milbury decided on Tuesday that rookie
      goalie Rick DiPietro will stay up with the Islanders for the
      remainder of the season. He backed up Vanbiesbrouck, which meant Wade
      Flaherty was scratched. Look for either Vanbiesbrouck or Flaherty to
      be traded soon.
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