Skip to main content

Danis, McLean help Islanders snap skid

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- Aesthetically pleasing it was

not, but the New York Islanders finally notched their first

victory of the calendar year.

Yann Danis made a career-high 39 saves and Kurtis McLean scored

his first career goal as the Islanders snapped an eight-game

losing streak Wednesday with a 2-1 triumph over the Anaheim

Ducks.

Rookie Kyle Okposo netted a power-play goal in the first period

and Frans Nielsen notched two assists for New York, which won

for just the third time in its last 23 games (3-17-3).

"I'll take a little bit (of credit), but what a feeling to get

the game-winner in only my second game, my first goal," McLean

said. "All the guys have been congratulating me, and I'm sure

my phone is going to be ringing off the hook tonight."

It was far from easy for the Islanders, who were outshot by a

40-14 margin.

New York, which actually was held without a shot for 26 minutes,

17 seconds, only broke the drought after a clearing attempt

found its way on net with 4 1/2 minutes to play in the third

period.

Despite the heavy workload, Danis was pleased to record his

first NHL victory since November 15, 2005 while with the

Montreal Canadiens.

"It's huge, it's a long time coming," Danis said. "I've been

waiting for this for a while. The last few years were tough for

me in the minors, and to be back with another organization,

getting a shot and finally getting a win means a lot to me."

Rookie Bobby Ryan scored with the man advantage for Anaheim,

which fell to 2-6-0 in its last eight games overall and 3-9-1 in

its last 13 on the road.

"At the end of the day, we're not where we want to be," Ryan

said. "We have to bear down, we have to contribute and realize

there's points at hand that we need."

All-Star Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed two goals on seven shots

before being relieved by Jonas Hiller with 5:25 remaining in the

first period. The Swiss goaltender stopped all seven shots he

faced in relief.

"I thought the first one was a stoppable puck and the second one

was a stoppable puck, simple as that," Anaheim coach Randy

Carlyle said. "But when you pull the goalie, you have to think

of why you're doing it. You're doing it to spark your team, and

hopefully they'll come to the defense of their teammate."

Okposo opened the scoring just 2:38 into the first period, when

he unleashed a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that

beat Giguere just inside the left goalpost for his seventh goal

of the season - and third with the man advantage.

McLean doubled the Islanders' advantage with 5:25 remaining in

the session. The 28-year-old received a pass from Nielsen and

blasted a shot just inside the right goalpost.

"It's just the way it went. Goalies can win or lose games for

you in this league," Giguere said. "We didn't want to go on the

break losing that game. We have to step back on the break and

not worry about what happened, but worry about what's coming

up."

The tally gave New York its first two-goal lead since January 6.

"After they scored those first two goals, we finally clicked and

said, 'We're in a game here,' and then we started to play - and

by then, it was too late," Anaheim's Corey Perry said. "We have

to play a full 60 minutes, not a 55-minute game. Those first 10

minutes hurt us."

Defenseman Scott Niedermayer nearly got the Ducks on the

scoreboard just under seven minutes remaining in the second

period, but the All-Star's attempt caromed off the left goalpost

before Danis alertly smothered the puck.

"We probably had 15-20 point-blank shots where it hit the post,

he got a pad on it, whatever," Perry said. "It's been a while

since that happened to us, and in those situations, you just

have to keep bearing down, keep shooting the puck."

After his team posted a decided 19-5 advantage in shots in the

second period, Ryan finally halved the deficit with 3:15

remaining in the session. Ryan deflected Perry's centering feed

past Danis for his 15th of the season and seventh on the power

play.

"We got the one lucky bounce over his shoulder, and that's how

we have to score in games like this," Perry said.

Despite testing him repeatedly, the Ducks were unable to solve

Danis again.

"I almost like it better getting a lot of shots than getting 15

shots in a game," Danis said. "It helps keep you in the game,

keep you focused, and I felt comfortable the whole game."

TOP HEADLINES

Noah Cates
Play

Injuries Don’t Excuse Philadelphia’s 10-Game Winless Streak

Adam Proteau argues the Philadelphia Flyers have made little progress since GM Chuck Fletcher took over four years ago despite a hot start to 2022-23.

Borje Salming
Play

Hockey Things: What Caught Our Eye (Nov. 28)

Swedish hockey fans pay their respects to Borje Salming, NHLers give their World Cup picks and Claude Giroux puts the Kings away in style.

Connor McDavid
Play

Fischler Report: Debating the Rangers and Oilers’ Rocky Play

Stan Fischler's report covers differing opinions on the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers, why the American Thanksgiving NHL rule is phony and more.