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Nystrom makes Dad proud, but Islanders beat Calgary

Islanders defenseman Mark Streit, right, celebrates with Bruno

Islanders defenseman Mark Streit, right, celebrates with Bruno Gervais after Gervais scored the go-ahead goal in the Islanders' 3-2 victory over the Flames at Nassau Coliseum. (Mar. 25, 2010) Credit: AP

Bobby Nystrom's loyalty was tested last night. His beloved Islanders were battling the Calgary Flames, who employ his son Eric - who was making his Nassau Coliseum debut.

In the end, Nystrom got the best of both worlds. The Islanders earned a 3-2 comeback victory and "Mr. Islander" watched a stellar effort from his son.

With his father's retired No. 23 hanging in the rafters, Eric Nystrom delivered a goal and an assist for his third multi-point game of the season.

"It's a thrill," the proud father said. "Me and my wife have been waiting for this game for a long time. To see him play here and play well, it's phenomenal."

Said Eric Nystrom, "I'm sure never in a million years, he never thought his son would be playing in the NHL and playing in the same arena as he did, so I think this is a pretty proud moment for him. Too bad we couldn't come out on top because that would've really made it a great night."

The Syosset-born Nystrom picked up an assist on the Flames' first goal, dishing to Cory Sarich before Nigel Dawes tipped it in at 9:13 of the first to tie it.

The 27-year-old winger gave the Flames a 2-1 lead in the second period when he swept behind the net and slipped one through Martin Biron's pads at 13:08.

"He's a good player, and coming into this building where his dad had so much success was probably an intense feeling, and you're going to play your best in that matter," said Biron, who made 21 saves to halt a three-game skid.

But the home team didn't roll out the red carpet for the younger Nystrom. Instead, the Islanders erased a 2-1 deficit with a pair of goals in the third period.

Matt Moulson tied it with his 27th of the season 28 seconds into the period and Bruno Gervais gave the Islanders the go-ahead goal at 11:31 with a slap shot just one second after a Calgary penalty expired.

It was a meaningful victory after a 5-0 loss to the Rangers the previous night.

"To be able to look each other in the eyes this morning and assess the situation is something good," Biron said. "You never know how you're going to respond . . . To be able to slowly pick away at it, that was a great feeling."

Notes & quotes: Kyle Okposo praised the NHL's new head-shot rule, saying: "The league needs to do something to protect the players. There's been so many head injuries this year that they kind of had to do something." . . . Mark Flood made his NHL debut after being recalled on an emergency basis for the injured Dustin Kohn, who suffered a head injury during Wednesday's game and is out indefinitely . . . Gervais is day-to-day with a groin injury.

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