Tavares scores hat trick to lead Islanders to victory

On Saturday night John Tavares showed why the New York Islanders picked him first overall in the 2009 draft. This sophomore, who has been billed the ‘franchise player’, scored three goals to lead his team to a 5-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres. Even though the Islanders won’t, in all probabilities, make the playoffs it was still a step forward for the organization, as Tavares now has 18 goals this season, which puts him on pace to surpass the 24 he scored last season as a rookie. Besides Tavares, another former Islanders’ first rounder, who enjoyed a big night was goaltender, Rick DiPietro, who was coming back from a groin injury. “I felt great,” DiPietro, who was chosen first overall in 2000 said. We had a better effort and a much better start.” Also scoring for the Islanders were Blake Comeau and Michael Grabner. Despite posting an impressive 9-4-2 in their past 15 games, New York are still 16 points out of a playoff spot. “Rick was awesome, Comeau said. We also did a good job of hitting the neutral zone with speed.” Meanwhile the Sabres, who are eight points out of a playoff position, got their goals from Tomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis and Jochen Hecht. Buffalo, who fired 43 shots on goal actually scored the game’s first goal but couldn’t stop an Islanders explosion as they scored four, including the three by Tavares in the second. “John has always given a consistent effort,” DiPietro said. He’s learning how to gear up for an 82-game season. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially for a 20-year old.” The future looks positive for the Islanders as Tavares has now scored 10 goals in his past 15 games.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/hockey/nhl/gameflash/2011/01/15/27840_recap.html#ixzz1BHHXR7js

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/hockey/nhl/gameflash/2011/01/15/27840_recap.html#ixzz1BHERVpj0

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