After showing some nerves on Wednesday, Ryan Spooner rebounded in fine fashion tonight, scoring both goals and showing a high level of skill throughout the game.
On his first goal, Spooner, who had set up Max Sauve with a backhand dish, batted in a mid-air rebound. In overtime, after taking a feed from Sauve in stride, Spooner whipped a wrister through Kevin Poulin’s pads. Earlier in overtime, Spooner sent a backhand pass to Yury Alexandrov for an in-close chance that Poulin stuffed.
“I felt really nervous the first game,” said Spooner (seven shots). “But tonight I felt a lot more comfortable out there and got lots of nice passes tonight. I thought the game went really well.”
* As good as Spooner was tonight, Sauve, his left wing, was just as sharp. The 2008 second-round pick showed his speed and skill on both nights. But just as encouraging was Sauve’s willingness to enter the dirty areas. “I thought he had a strong two games,” said GM Peter Chiarelli. “It’s a different level of competition, but it’s a good steppingstone for him. The next step there’ll be a difference, and the next step will be even more noticeable. But he’s showed a propensity to get a little bit dirtier in the corners, which is nice to see. That’s one of the areas where wanted him to improve on. He’s got stuff to work on. He gets away with some stuff because of his speed and skill. But he had a strong two outings. He’ll be in the mix if he keeps playing like this, especially if he keeps competing.”
* Tyler Seguin wasn’t as effective with the puck tonight. The Islanders focused on Seguin and linemates Jared Knight and Jamie Arniel. “They were keying on him, on the breakout and on the power play,” Chiarelli said. “Tyler, to his credit, had better pushback tonight.”
* Steve Kampfer turned in another consistent two-way effort. To these eyes, he was the team’s best defenseman over the two-game span. The top performers in the series: Sauve, Kampfer, Seguin, Arniel, and Jordan Caron.
* Chiarelli said there will be five or six cuts prior to Saturday’s on-ice sessions.