I guess Rick Dipietro was exactly what the doctor ordered after all. Coming off a 3 week hiatus, Dipietro backstopped the New York Islanders to a 3-2 victory over the Presidents Trophy winning Buffalo Sabres Saturday night.
The entire team looked electrified by the return of Dipietro from the drop of the puck. The Islanders shook off game 1's timid attitude and exploded out of the gate, scoring about 3 minutes into the game by a lucky bounce of Trent Hunters' shinpad. It was those types of bounces that were eluding the Isles in game 1.
Bruno Gervias scored his first career playoff goal, along with his first goal of the entire season, off a wicked wrister from above the circles to build up a 2-0 lead over the sluggish Sabres. The Sabres woke up late in the first and started digging themselves out of the hole they put themselves in. At the end of the 1st, the score was 2-1 in favor of the Islanders.
The Sabres continued to pressure the Islanders, forcing them to grudgingly give ground and swarmed Dipietro. DP kept them alive in the second, stopping the high powered Sabres dead in their tracks.
The Sabres broke through the Great Wall of Dipietro early into the 3rd period off a mad scramble infront of the Islanders net. Dipietro made a number of saves while the Sabres collapsed in on him. The Islanders defense is more to blame for the second Sabres goal than Dipietro as they let the Sabres stand around them and take free shots instead of clearing people out of the way.
The Islander defense would redeem themselves on a powerplay with 11 minutes to go in the 3rd. Marc-Andre Bergeron fired that cannon he calls a shot and buried it behind Ryan Miller to put the Islanders on top for good.
Dipietro was excited to get the win, but even more excited to get back in the cage.
"I could've used a little WD-40 on the joints here and there," the Islanders' top goalie said with a wink.
From Islander Country to you, Rick, you looked just fine out there. Now lets rip the roof off the NVMC!
Lets. Go. Islanders.