After playing against the New Jersey Devils, facing almost anyone else would seem to be an easier test. The Atlanta Thrashers didn't seem to put up much of a fight as the Isles waltzed to a 6-3 victory.
On to the trick
1. As they have all season, the Islanders started strong on home ice, dominating play at times and recording a season-high 21 shots in the first period. Andy Sutton, Sean Bergenheim (who was playing his 200th NHL game) and Jack Hillen scored in the first session for the Islanders while Zach Bogosian was the first of three Thrasher defensemen to score.
2. The Isles blew the game open in the second period, getting goals from Blake Comeau and Matt Moulson, sandwiching an Atlanta goal by Pabel Kubina. Chris Schubert and Josh Bailey traded goals in the third.
3. Freddy Meyer and Comeau got back in the line-up, and both figured in the scoring. Meyer had an assist while Comeau, who was named the game's first star, had a goal and an assist.
Meyer replaced Radek Martinek, who suffered a torn ACL Friday in New Jersey. Martinek's season is likely over, meaning that he will have played only 389 out of a possible 656 games in his first eight NHL seasons. Comeau replaced Doug Weight, who is expected to miss a week or so.
And a few more
4. Sean Bergenheim, playing in his 200th NHL game, had his first goal of the season.
5. The Isles regained NHL .500 with a 6-6-5 record. They are now 5-2-2 at home, where they have won four straight for the first time since February 2008. Dwayne Roloson, who made 31 saves, is now 5-1-3 on the season. He has had more ice-time (526:12) than any other goalie in the league who has lost just once in regulation time. Roloson was originally credited with an assist on Bailey's third period goal, but that assist was later taken away.
6. The Isles have now allowed three goals or fewer in nine straight games, their longest streak of allowing three or fewer since the 2003-04 season, when they went ten games between December 23, 2003 and January 10, 2004.
7. Thirteen different Islanders had points. John Tavares and Nate Thompson each had two assists—the first time in their careers that they had accomplished that. Thompson, one of two Islanders without a shot on goal, also drew a key penalty on Pavel Kubina that set up Bailey's power play goal to seal the game. Thompson and Meyer led the Isles with four hits each.
8. Matt Moulson had a strong all-around game, with a goal, an assist, six shots, two hits and three takeaways.
9. The Islanders finished with 45 shots on goal, chasing Ondrej Pavelec after two periods. It was their highest total since having a club record 60 shots on goal in a loss to Carolina on October 26, 2008.
10. It was an offensive night for the defenses. The Thrashers got three goals and two assists from their defenders while the Isles recorded two goals and two assists.
The Isles begin only the third 7-game road trip in their history when they visit Washington on Veterans Day Wednesday. The Caps played without Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green on Saturday, but still managed to rally with five third period goals to defeat Florida 7-4. The teams have split the first two games, with the visitors winning in overtime on each occasion.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick