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Mannino earns first win as Islanders surprise Blackhawks

PA Stats Inc
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The Hockey News
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Mannino earns first win as Islanders surprise Blackhawks

PA Stats Inc
By:

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- New York Islanders goalie Peter Mannino got
all the shots he wanted in his first NHL start.

Mannino made 40 saves, and defenseman Mark Streit had two
power-play goals and an assist, leading the Islanders to a 4-2
win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Richard Park and Frans Nielsen also scored for the Islanders,
6-2-1 in their last nine games. New York, last in the Eastern
Conference, was 3-for-7 on the power play.

Mannino, making just his second career appearance, stopped
Martin Havlat, Ben Eager and Patrick Kane on partial breakaways.
Chicago had a 42-19 shots advantage.

"I felt good right away," Mannino said. "Chicago is an
unbelievable offensive team I wanted to get out the nerves as
much as possible and stay focused. When you get a lot of shots,
it helps, especially if you're not letting them in right away."

The Blackhawks kept Mannino busy, but only Kane and Kris
Versteeg beat him. Versteeg scored the Blackhawks' first goal on
their 26th shot.

But Mannino held his ground, and the Islanders dealt Chicago its
second straight loss and fourth in five games. Mannino learned
that he would start Sunday morning.

"He had some big saves," coach Scott Gordon said. "He stopped
guys on breakaways.

"Give him credit. It's a tough situation. He hasn't had a lot of
practice time because of the schedule on the road. To go into a
building with 22,000 people, it's obviously a great thing for
him."

New York improved to 2-1-1 on a season-high six-game trip.

Mannino made his NHL debut in November, playing 13 minutes in
relief of Joey MacDonald in a 7-2 loss at Boston.

On Sunday, MacDonald missed his third straight game because of a
knee injury he sustained Tuesday in Toronto. Mannino was backed
up by Yann Danis.

Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin made 15 saves in his first
game since Feb. 11, when he aggravated a groin injury in
Atlanta.

"He'll get better," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.

"We had the puck in the offensive zone," Quenneville added.
"With the puck maybe we weren't as crisp as we've been most of
the year. I have trust we can simplify it."

Chicago outshot New York 12-6 in a scoreless first, but neither
team was able to sustain pressure. Mannino was especially sharp
early in the second as the Blackhawks controlled play. He
stopped Havlat and Eager on partial breakaways, Duncan Keith on
a 2-on-1 and Versteeg from traffic in the slot.

Streit opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 7:41 left
in the second. He fired a high screen shot from the top of the
left circle past Khabibulin's stick side.

Less than a minute later, Mannino stopped Kane on a partial
breakaway.

Versteeg tied with 4:20 left in the period. After Havlat's
backhander hit the post, Versteeg pushed in the loose puck.

Park and Nielsen scored 1:20 apart to give New York a 3-1 lead.
Park beat Khabibulin between the legs from the left circle with
2:11 left, and Nielsen swept in a rebound of his own deflection
for a power-play goal with 51 seconds left in the period.

"They got a late goal it changed the momentum of the game,"
Quenneville said.

Streit made it 4-1 with his second power-play goal, at 7:46 of
the third. He beat Khabibulin with a high drive from the blue
line.

Kane scored on the power play with 1:43 left on a rebound.

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Mannino earns first win as Islanders surprise Blackhawks