UNIONDALE, N.Y. – An unprecedented offensive outburst from Milan Jurcina was enough to carry the New York Islanders to another home victory.
Jurcina scored twice and Dwayne Roloson stopped 28 shots in the Islanders’ 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.
Jurcina, who has 17 goals in 324 NHL games, netted his first two of the season. He had scored a total of five in the past three seasons combined with Washington and Columbus before signing with the Islanders in July.
“It feels good,” Jurcina said. “I’ve struggled the last few years.”
Josh Bailey, Michael Grabner and John Tavares also scored for the Islanders, who won their second straight at home.
Chris Stewart and T.J. Galliardi had goals for the Avalanche. Craig Anderson, playing for the second straight night, made 20 saves.
“We started off well,” Galliardi said. “We tried to get too offensive, and when you start to get fancy, that’s when you get into trouble.”
The most notable event in the scoreless first period came right after the opening faceoff. Just five seconds into the game, New York forward Zenon Konopka and Avalanche counterpart Stewart dropped their gloves and helmets before engaging in a spirited fight.
“Last game, I felt we weren’t ready to play from the start, and there wouldn’t be any excuses this game,” Stewart said. “I just got into it from the start.”
While Colorado dominated play in the second period, it was the Islanders who grabbed a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal. Bailey won a faceoff in the Avalanche zone and fed the puck back to Jurcina at the right point. His slap shot got past Anderson at 13:06 for his first goal of the season.
“I just closed my eyes and shot the puck,” Jurcina said.
Jurcina struck again at 17:59 with a down-low wrist shot that found its way in. Bailey scored a power-play goal 61 seconds later to give the Islanders a 3-0 lead.
Stewart ended Roloson’s shutout bid with a right side slap shot that bounced into the net off the crossbar at 2:19 of the third period.
Grabner restored the Islanders’ three-goal lead by finishing off a 2-on-1 break at 4:12.
Galliardi tipped a puck past Roloson at 10:08 to bring the Avalanche within 4-2, but John Tavares scored his first of the season—into an empty net—with 19.6 seconds remaining in the game.
“It was a huge win for us,” Roloson said. “We have to keep playing with no complacency.”
NOTES: Colorado will finish its five-game road trip in New York against the Rangers on Monday night. … Al Arbour, who coached the Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup titles, was in attendance.