|TOR||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|NYI||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Recap | Scoresheet | Stats | Pics Pre-Game | Game in Six
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Wade Dubielewicz won the matchup of backup goalies, and did it without the benefit of the New York Islanders' big first period.
Dubielewicz relieved injured starter Rick DiPietro at the beginning of the second period and stopped 21 of 22 shots, spoiling Jason Blake's return to Long Island in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
"I keep an eye on Ricky every day just in case something happens,'' Dubielewicz said after his fifth appearance. "I kind of knew that I might be in. Sometimes, you don't want to know in advance that you might play, because it gives you time to think, and you can think too much.''
Blake was given a brief video tribute just before the opening faceoff and was greeted with mostly cheers from the fans who appreciated his five-plus seasons with the Islanders. The gritty forward left as a free agent in the summer after scoring a career-best 40 goals.
The video board thanked him for his hustle, and the Islanders beat him with a dose of it in the nick of time.
"Obviously coming back, it was good,'' Blake said. "You wanted to win the hockey game and get it done.''
Mike Comrie scored with 9.6 seconds showing on the overtime clock on a rush after Dubielewicz stoned the Maple Leafs at the other end. Blake had a chance, but Richard Park knocked the puck away.
"We only got so many seconds left in overtime, I was trying to make a play,'' Blake said. "Parkie made a great play by poke-checking it.''
Comrie, who also scored in New York's three-goal first period, got to a rebound of Park's shot and put it past backup Andrew Raycroft shortly after a Maple Leafs power play expired.
Raycroft hadn't played since Nov. 24 when he was pulled in the first period of a loss to Phoenix.
"I was hoping to at least get to a shootout,'' he said. "All I've done the last month and a half is shootouts. I wanted to see if some of that work was going to pay off.''
Andy Hilbert and Bill Guerin also scored in an unusually productive first period for the Islanders to stake DiPietro to a lead. But a knee injury sustained in pre-game warmups forced him out early.
Dubielewicz had a much better showing than his previous outing against Toronto, an 8-1 loss on Oct. 11. New York has won three straight, including consecutive home victories in overtime.
He was especially sharp in the extra session when Toronto had the last of its four power plays.
"That big guy (Nikolai Antropov) that was standing in front, if any puck got past him, I was dead,'' Dubielewicz said. "I had a hard time seeing anything.''
Alexander Steen and Mark Bell scored in the first period for Toronto, and Steen tied it at three in the third. The Maple Leafs are 1-2-2 in their last five, all on the road.
Raycroft, a surprise starter for Toronto after Vesa Toskala felt tightness in his groin during the morning skate, played for the first time in 13 games and stopped 24 shots. His best saves came in the final minute of regulation when he denied Mike Sillinger on consecutive shots.
Raycroft will likely be back in the nets Thursday when the Maple Leafs conclude their seven-game road trip at Philadelphia.
DiPietro won't make the trip to Ottawa for Thursday night's game against the Senators.
|Alexander Steen (6) ASST: Matt Stajan (9), Boyd Devereaux (6)|
1 - 0 TOR
|Andy Hilbert (4) ASST: Chris Campoli (13), Bryan Berard (4)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Mark Bell (2) ASST: Darcy Tucker (5), Ian White (7)|
2 - 1 TOR
|Mike Comrie (10) ASST: Richard Park (6), Rick DiPietro (3)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Bill Guerin (10) ASST: Mike Comrie (17), Richard Park (7)|
3 - 2 NYI
|SHG - Alexander Steen (7) ASST: Hal Gill (14)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Mike Comrie (11) ASST: Richard Park (8)|
4 - 3 NYI
|Josef Vasicek Hooking against Chad Kilger|
|Andy Sutton Hooking against Tomas Kaberle|
|Freddy Meyer Hooking against Anton Stralman|
|Darcy Tucker Holding against Andy Sutton|
|Mats Sundin Tripping against Bruno Gervais|
|Richard Park Hooking against Nik Antropov|
|SA: 28||TOI: 64:41|
|Saves: 24||EV: 23 - 27|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .857||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 23||TOI: 44:50|
|Saves: 22||EV: 18 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 3|
|SV%: .957||SH: 1 - 2|
|SA: 9||TOI: 20:00|
|Saves: 7||EV: 5 - 7|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: .778||SH: 0 - 0|