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Rick DiPietro made 24 saves in his first appearance in an NHL game in 53 weeks, but it was not enough as Dallas broke the Islanders' two-game win streak with a 4-3 win at American Airlines Center. On to the trick....
1. Toby Petersen was the first to score against DiPietro when he tipped home a shot from Trevor Daley at the 4:44 mark of the first period. The Isles tied it 2:32 later on a Josh Bailey goal, following a Marty Turco misplay. Kyle Okposo scored in the final minute of the first period to give the Isles the leadafter twenty minutes. It was Kyle's eighth goal of the season; the Isles had earned points in all seven games that he scored in prior to tonight.
2. The second period was even more sloppy than the first and tDallas scored three times. Lou Erikkson, Brendan Morrow and Brad Richards had the goals for the Stars. Richard's goal was his 600th NHL point. Frans Nielsen had the only goal for the Islanders, off another Turco miscue.
3. The Isles had some chances in the third period, particularly in the final minute with DiPieto on the bench, but could not find the tying goal which was somewhat surprising since the Isles have played a league-leading 16 overtime games while the Stars have played 15. The Isles outshot Dallas 7- 3 in the third period, but the Stars held the overall advantage, 28-22.
...a few more...
4. DiPietro was credited with an assist on Bailey's goal, extending his club record for goaltender assists and points to 16. DiPietro now has an assist in each of his last three NHL games—which have been played in three different calendar years (12/26/08, 1/2/09, 1/8/10).
5. The first two periods were penalty-free. The Stars had one power play in the third period, while the Islanders had two. Neither team converted on the power play.
6. Eriksson and Richards both scored one goal and assisted on the goal scored by the other. Josh Bailey also had a goal and an assist for the Islanders. Bailey, playing some of the best hockey of his career, now has an assist in four straight games and a point in five straight games (3-4-7). Krystofer Barch led all players with eight shots (in just 6:56 of ice time).
7. The Isles lost for the first time in 2010 (2-1-0) while the Stars, who had been outscored 12-3 in their first three January games, won for the first time in the New Year (1-3-0).
8. The Isles fall to 4-2-1 in their last seven games; all seven games have been decided by one goal. The seven consecutive games decided by one goal or less ties the club single-season record, set in October-November, 2001 and equaled in November 2007. The Isles played eight consecutive games decided by one goal, over two seasons in 2000 (the final six games of 1999-2000 and the first two games of the following season).
9. John Tavares hit the post in the final minute, but was held without a point for the 12th time in the last 13 games [1-0-1].
10. This was the only meeting of the season between the squads. The Stars have beaten the Islanders three straight times, dating back to an Islander shutout win in Dallas in November, 2006.
Up next: The road trip concludes in Phoenix on Saturday night as the Islanders conclude their tenth set of back-to-backs (2-6-1). This will be the Islanders' 10th game in Arizona, and they have won only once in the previous nine (1-6-2).
On Feburary 13, 2004, the Islanders defeated the Coyotes 5-2. Trent Hunter scored twice in that game as the Islanders rallied from a 2-0 deficit. Rick DiPietro earned the win, and also assisted on Hunter's empty-net goal.
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