Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now

New York at New Jersey

Islanders, Moulson win opener over Devils in shootout

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEWARK, N.J. -- There's a little more to the New York Islanders than John Tavares.

In a season opener where the Islanders star didn't do much, his teammates picked him up.

Linemate Matt Moulson scored the only goal of the shootout in the sixth round, Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves and Michael Grabner had two goals and an assist in the Islanders' season-opening 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

"We had some mistakes, but we had some really good stuff in there," Grabner said after the Islanders won a season opener for the first time since 2007.

"It's the first game and we got the win. Now we have to go back to work tomorrow."

Nabokov stopped all six shootout attempts and Martin Brodeur was just as good until Moulson beat him under the crossbar.

Moulson quipped that he told coach Jack Capuano that he should have shot earlier in the shootout.

"The puck kind of hopped up and luckily I chipped it up," Moulson said.

Brodeur, whose father, Denis, died last week, had 23 saves in his first game of the season. Cory Schneider was in goal in the Devils' 3-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"He waited me out, so I got deep a bit, and he got it up quick," Brodeur said of Moulson, whose linemates Tavares and Kyle Okposo failed to register a point.

Grabner, who was stopped on two breakaways in the game, didn't take a shot in the shootout. He deadpanned that his turn would have been after Nabokov.

"Honest I'm not too mad about it, we have some good skill guys out there," Grabner said.

Frans Nielsen had the Islanders' other goal.

Recently signed free agent Damien Brunner scored twice for the Devils, while fellow newcomer Michael Ryder had the other.

Josh Bailey almost won the shootout in the fourth round, but his shot hit off the post.

Brunner tied the game at 3-3 at 7:34 of the third period with his second goal of the game. It came shortly after a Devils power play expired. Defenseman Anton Volchenkov came off the bench and shot the puck toward the net. It deflected to Brunner and he slid it into an open net.

The Islanders took their first lead of the game early in the third period when Nielsen worked a give and go with Grabner and lifted a backhand between Brodeur's pads as the goaltender tried to poke check the puck off his stick.

Both teams had scoring chances after Brunner tied the game at 3-3. Okposo of the Islanders hit the post about a minute after Brunner's second goal and Brodeur came up with close-in stops on Grabner and Pierre-Marc Bouchard on breakaways.

Nabokov stopped a short-handed shot by Stephen Gionta and a close-in attempt by Steve Bernier.

The Devils twice took the lead in their home opener and Grabner responded for the Islanders each time.

Grabner's second of the game came on a shot from the right circle that beat Brodeur on the short side at 13:43 of the middle period. Bailey had forced a turnover at center ice and made a pass that sent the speedy right wing into the Devils' zone.

"It was great plays by my linemates finding me," Grabner said. "I was trying to get to open ice and they made some great plays where I could use my speed and capitalize on my chances."

Ryder, who is wearing the No. 17 jersey that Ilya Kovalchuk had before returning to Russia after last season, rekindled memories of the Russian superstar by snapping a shot past Nabokov a little less than five minutes into the second period. It was his first goal with the Devils.

Brunner, who had a team-high eight shots in Pittsburgh, gave the Devils the lead 2:59 after the opening faceoff. Nabokov couldn't control a shot by Dainius Zubrus from the slot and Brunner tapped the loose puck into an open net for his first goal as a Devil.

Grabner, who was stopped on an early breakaway by Brodeur before the Brunner goal, didn't miss his second one-on-one. He took a pass from defenseman Travis Hamonic in stride and slid the puck under Brodeur to tie the game at 8:07.

Notes

Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who head the group that bought the Devils this summer, dropped pucks at the ceremonial opening faceoff. ...This was the first of five regular-season games between teams. The Islanders won last year's season series 3-2. ...Brock Nelson, the Islanders' first-round draft pick in 2010, made his NHL regular-season debut. He appeared in a playoff game last year. ... Other than Brodeur in goal, the Devils used the same lineup they did in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Matt Moulson puts the game-winner past Martin Brodeur in the Islanders' season-opening victory over New Jersey. (USATSI)
Matt Moulson puts the game-winner past Martin Brodeur in the Islanders' season-opening victory over New Jersey. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
NY Islanders  (1-0) «11111 (1)4
New Jersey (0-1)11100 (0)3
Three Stars
M. Grabner
NYI


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
D. Brunner
NJ


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Brodeur
NJ


Saves: 23
Save Pct.: .885
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:59 - Damien Brunner (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Zubrus, Loktionov
08:07 - Michael Grabner (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hamonic
2ND PERIOD
04:46 - Michael Ryder (1), Wrap Shot. Assist: Salvador, Zidlicky
13:43 - Michael Grabner (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bailey
3RD PERIOD
01:01 - Frans Nielsen (1), Backhand Shot. Assist: Grabner, Donovan
07:34 - Damien Brunner (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Clowe, Volchenkov
OT
None
SO
Matt - Moulson (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:05Brunner, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
05:40Bouchard, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
05:26Nelson, 2 min, Hooking
10:04Carter, 2 min, Hooking
OT
None
SO
None
Shots On Goal
 123OTT
NYI979732
NJ7138735
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Evgeni Nabokov 65:00263
Martin Brodeur 65:00233
Game Information
Attendance - 16624
Referees - Ghislain Hebert, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Michel Cormier
 
Other Games
Det 3 Final
OT
Car 2
Cal 4 Final
Colu 3
Ott 1 Final
Buf 0
LA 3 Final
Wpg 5
Nash 1 Final
Colo 3