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Danis, McLean help Islanders snap skid

PA Stats Inc
By:
The Hockey News
News

Danis, McLean help Islanders snap skid

PA Stats Inc
By:

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."

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Danis, McLean help Islanders snap skid