Islanders sink Canucks in shootout
It's not often Roberto Luongo is outplayed by an opposing netminder, but such was the case Monday night on Long Island.
Joey MacDonald outfoxed all three skaters he faced in the shootout as the New York Islanders prevailed 2-1 over the visiting Vancouver Canucks before a crowd of 11,299 at Nassau Coliseum.
"You do not want to give up too many goals against a guy like that," MacDonald said of Luongo. "We found a way to get two points and that is the main thing."
"Shootouts are great when you win and [not] when you lose," Luongo said. "I don't like losing any game."
Frans Nielsen scored the winning goal on Luongo, deking to the backhand on and tucking the puck under the crossbar.
"He is a big guy, so you have to get the puck up," Nielsen said.
Doug Weight scored his fourth goal of the season in regulation for the revitalized Islanders (7-9-2), fresh off a home-and-home sweep of the Ottawa Senators.
"It took until overtime and a shootout to get the second point, but that is hard work," MacDonald said.
MacDonald stopped 31 of 32 shots through regulation and overtime and, in the shootout, made pad saves on Kyle Wellwood and Pavol Demitra before clinching the win with a poke check on Alex Burrows.
"When the game is on the line, that is what you want your goalie to do — make those big saves," Islanders rookie head coach Scott Gordon said. "Just like the other guy in their net had some pretty big saves on us."
Luongo finished with 34 saves in defeat, performing brilliantly as New York outshot Vancouver 10-0 early in the second period.
"All losses are tough," he said.
Luongo, who was drafted fourth overall by the Islanders in 1997, has surrendered just four goals in regulation in his last six starts, posting three shutouts over that span.
Demitra scored 49 seconds off the opening faceoff, giving him four points in the past two games for the Canucks (10-6-2).
Demitra returned from injury last Saturday and chalked up three assists in Vancouver's 4-2 victory over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.
He missed the previous nine games because of bruised ribs.
'We responded really well'
Demitra stepped into a soft pass from Daniel Sedin and beat MacDonald with a one-timer from the top of the faceoff circle to open the scoring 49 seconds into the contest.
It marked his third goal of the season.
It remained 1-0 until Weight's slapshot from the point struck the stick of Canucks defenceman Shane O'Brien and eluded Luongo for a power-play goal with 5:25 left in the second period.
Weight has two goals and six points in his past six games.
"We responded really well," MacDonald said.
Vancouver had two glorious opportunities to end it in overtime, but MacDonald held firm as Demitra passed to Mattias Ohlund for a slapshot from the point and set up Lawrence Nycholat for clear shot from the slot.
With files from the Canadian Press