After a scoreless two rounds in the shootout, Rob Schremp faked and picked the top left corner against Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason to give the Islanders a 2-1 win at Nassau Coliseum last night.
Schremp's game-winner preserved an outstanding 41-save performance from Dwayne Roloson and gave the Islanders their third win in four games.
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"I think we finally got our swagger back at home," said Josh Bailey, who gave the Islanders a first-period lead with an opportunistic goal that broke a 14-game goalless streak.
Schremp's goal gave the Islanders the edge, and the Blue Jackets' Fedor Tyutin couldn't answer.
"It was great to score and hold on to the win like that," Schremp said.
One half of the Islanders' special teams stepped up last night. The other did not.
The penalty-killing unit's 3-for-3 effort extended an unblemished record to four consecutive games, but the power play continued its slide.
In the past nine games, the Islanders have scored only one power-play goal in 36 attempts, including four opportunities in the third period last night.
Bailey gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 10:04 in the first when he hustled to capitalize on a dangling puck in the crease. Roloson and the Islanders clung to the lead until the third, handcuffed by an inability to score on the power play.
After a scoreless second period, the Islanders were awarded their first power-play opportunity of the game at 1:15 in the third when R.J. Umberger was called for tripping. Defenseman Mathieu Roy joined him in the box on a delay-of-game penalty 1:13 later, and that gave the Islanders 47 seconds of five-on-three. The power play failed again and an agitated Coliseum crowd had no problem reminding the Islanders of their recent struggles.
After a hearty round of boos, the crowd was subdued as Umberger tied the game later in the period as he swiveled past Richard Park and swept in a backhanded shot to beat Roloson at 9:47.
At 13:52, defenseman Andy Sutton's cool head gave the Islanders a key power-play opportunity with the game tied in the third period.
Sutton obliterated Umberger along the boards, causing Roy to go after him and drop the gloves. Sutton refused to tangle with Roy and the Islanders were rewarded with the man-advantage as a result. And they failed to deliver. Schremp took an interference penalty to negate the remaining 32 seconds of the opportunity.
An additional power play - after Frederik Modin's delay-of-game penalty at 18:18 - had the same result and allowed the Blue Jackets to creep into overtime. But Roloson's three saves in the shootout and Schremp's goal gave the Islanders the full two points.
"Rolie's awesome," Schremp said. "He goes into that mode and he just shuts it down. He makes key saves at key times."