Rick DiPietro skated onto the ice at Nassau Coliseum last night for his second start of the season, greeted by boos that seemed too loud to match the smattering of fans spread throughout the arena. The punchlines were prepared. But heading into the third period, the oft-injured, much-maligned goalie was in position for his first win since Dec. 3, 2011, with the Islanders leading the Hurricanes 3-2. Then, the inevitable Acme anvil came crashing down. Despite scoring four power-play goals, the Islanders lost their fifth straight game, 6-4, after allowing three consecutive goals in the first half of the final period. Filling in for Evgeni Nabokov, who had played the previous seven games, DiPietro made 25 saves on 30 shots. “It’s a tough game. The difference between winning and losing is so small, it’s one mistake here, one bad bounce there,” DiPietro said. “I felt good. It’s a joy to be out there playing, to be honest. Sitting around, watching these guys from the rafters last year, the last couple years, there’s nothing you can do. You feel helpless. It’s nice to compete and this is a great group of guys.” The Islanders (4-7-1) hadn’t trailed heading into the third period, and the fans settled into a short-term amnesia, showering the 31-year-old netminder with genuine praise. But the cheers soon developed a Bronx flavor, beginning when Jiri Tlusty tied the game at 3-3 on a tip-in 30 seconds into the period. The go-ahead goal came five minutes later, as Alexander Semin unintentionally threw a pass off the arm of Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic and past a befuddled DiPietro. The rancor reached its boiling point with 10:41 left in the third, as DiPietro allowed his fifth goal of the game, this time on a Tlusty redirection, which ricocheted in off the skate of Eric Staal. Islanders coach Jack Capuano wouldn’t comment on DiPietro’s play after the game, but the fans unleashed a round of “DP sucks” chants — easily the loudest soundtrack of the evening.
Islanders fans jeer DiPietro for 3rd-period flop
New York Post | Feb 12