I didn't watch this game, and based on comments in the game thread, I am one lucky guy.
The Devils beat the Islanders 1-0 on a first-period powerplay goal by David Clarkson, and the Islanders mustered all of 16 shots. The Devils mustered a whopping 21, with Rick DiPietro stopping 20 including eight on the powerplay. (The Isles spent half the night in the box, with the Devils going 1-for-7 on the powerplay.)
Turns out dinner with Mrs. Lighthouse instead of a wonky stream of preseason hockey with the Devils was the right call -- and I must say, that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah. So stone me.
Other notes I can decipher from the commentariat and recaps:
- Nino Niederreiter left the game early (just 4:32) with a groin injury, to be re-evaluated tomorrow.
Ryan Strome was tossed for boarding Stephen Gionta with 3:14 remaining. The Devils announcers, who apparently were awful and tossed out every misinformed Islanders-bashing cliche in the book (DiPietro contract, cap floor, "bench-clearing brawls") were appalled by the thuggery of Strome, who now poses a rival to Frans Nielsen for Biggest Thug on the team. Seems like there was even a suggestion of "suspendable?" in the discussion.
- Sounds like Aaron Ness again looked good, as did Josh Bailey -- save for Bailey tallying zero shots on goal.
- Micheal Haley fought Matt Corrente and got the instigator. Matt Martin fought Mark Fraser and was not penalized for Fighting While Islander. Steve Staios took two minor penalties in a row.
- Peter Ruttgaizer, who used to do work for the Avs but has also done lots of work in Canada, replaces Rob Carlin for MSG.
Apparently Haley instigated this (?), but props to him for holding up while Corrente was down, then resuming once he was back up (which actually ended up letting Corrente get back into the fight):
Word is Evgeni Nabokov gets the start in the final preseason game Saturday night in Bridgeport against the Bruins. Some interesting quotes from Capuano in the post-game (captured in the recap linked above), including:
"I think he’s played extremely well," Capuano said of DiPietro. "The Boston game, he moved well. Tonight, he moved well. I thought he played a solid 60 minutes. His goalie touches were good. He was communicating with our D real well. I was extremely encouraged..."
"He’s made a huge impact over the last week and a half, so we’ll know more once we talk to the doctors and see what’s up. He played extremely well for our coaching staff."
Groin injuries are a tricky beast, so we'll see tomorrow but can also trust this may linger close to the regular season if not into it. Remember that Josh Bailey made the roster his rookie year while spending the first month of the season on IR, not debuting until Nov. 11. At that point, having been around the team for so long already...
Anyway, at the beginning of camp it appeared Capuano took pains not to praise individual players about whom reporters were trying to pry good quotes. Now, with one preseason game left, he's responded to queries by pumping the tires -- in the Luongoian parlance of our times -- of Ness, DiPietro and Niederreiter.