Posted December 31, 2011 on AP on Fox
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Matt Moulson had a goal and two assists, and John Tavares and P.A. Parenteau both added one of each for the New York Islanders, who took advantage of the Edmonton Oilers and shaky goalie Devan Dubnyk in a 4-1 matinee victory Saturday. Tavares and Moulson helped set up each other for goals in the first period, and Parenteau and Matt Martin connected in the second for the Islanders, who won their second straight against visiting teams from Alberta following a three-game losing streak. Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves for the Islanders, 5-2-4 against Western Conference opponents. New York scored on four of its first nine shots at Dubnyk, more than enough offense to knock off the sliding Oilers, who are 0-3 on their seven-game road trip forced by the world junior hockey championship being played in Edmonton. The Oilers have lost seven of eight and nine of 12, and are 3-11-1 in their past 15. Outside of poor goaltending, Edmonton was also done in by the undisciplined play of Ben Eager, who took two roughing penalties that led to power-play goals by Tavares and Parenteau. Eager, clearly unfazed by his costly penalties, was also whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct and given a 10-minute misconduct in the second period. Sam Gagner scored for Edmonton in between Tavares and Moulson's goals in the first period to briefly forge a tie, but it didn't last long. Dubnyk finished with 25 saves. The Islanders nearly took a 2-1 lead with 6:45 left in the first - just 17 seconds after Gagner scored - but Moulson had a goal waved off because he kicked the puck into the net. The no-goal was followed by a Grinch-related song played by the arena organist. No matter. Moulson eventually gave the Islanders the edge when he scored with 2:05 left in the first, converting a perfect, cross-zone, spin-o-rama pass from Tavares. Parenteau made it 3-1 at 3:19 of the second, while Eager was in the box a second time. Parenteau whipped a shot from the high slot off a feed from Moulson past Dubnyk. Martin pushed New York's lead to three goals just 46 seconds later when he brought the puck out of the lower right corner and beat Dubnyk with a shot from a poor angle, slightly above the goal line. Edmonton came out quickly and put pressure on the Islanders for the first few minutes, but failed to connect against Nabokov. The tide turned soon after when the Oilers broke down in their own zone and let Tavares take advantage. With Eager serving his first roughing penalty, Tavares passed the puck out of the lower left corner to Parenteau and went to the net. Dubnyk came way out, and Parenteau got the puck back to Tavares, who went around the overmatched goalie and easily tucked the puck into the vacated net behind him at 3:44. Tavares, who also had a goal and assist in the Islanders' 3-1 win over Calgary on Thursday, briefly left the ice in the second period after he was hit by former New York defenseman Andy Sutton several seconds after he took a shot. Tavares appeared to hurt his right side or shoulder, but returned soon after a trip to the dressing room. NOTES: The past three No. 1 overall NHL draft picks were in the game: Tavares in 2009, and Edmonton's Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the following two years. ... Sutton returned after serving an eight-game suspension for charging Carolina's Alexei Ponikarovsky on Dec. 7. ... The Islanders inducted defenseman Ken Morrow into the team's Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony. Morrow was a key member on New York's four consecutive Stanley Cup championship teams (1980-83). ... Moulson played in his 200th consecutive game. ... Tavares has assisted on 11 of Moulson's 17 goals. ... Former Islanders forward Ryan Smyth, who declined to re-sign with the team after a 24-game stint with New York in 2007, was booed every time he touched the puck. ... Islanders D Steve Staios returned after missing seven games with an undisclosed upper body injury.
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