Stellar return for Streit

September, 24, 2011
9/24/11
10:31
PM ET
Is there any doubt about how much Mark Streit was missed last season?

Not after Saturday night's performance.

The 33-year-old Swiss defenseman, who was named captain of the Islanders earlier this week, had a triumphant return in the team's 6-2 rout of the Devils at Nassau Coliseum.

In his first game since a shoulder injury suffered last September sidelined him for the entire 2010-11 season, Streit finished with a goal and two assists in the team's preseason home opener.

"I was a little nervous in the beginning," Streit said, "but I'll tell you one thing: It was great to be out there again."

More than 17 months removed from his last game, Streit showed no rust, no telltale signs of sub-par conditioning. In fact, he picked up right where he left off, logging a team-high 23:44 of ice time.

"He does not miss a beat out there," said Matt Moulson, who had two goals and an assist.

Wearing the "C" on his chest for the first time, Streit not only anchored the back end, but quarterbacked the impressive first-team power-play unit. With Streit back manning the point, the group scored on three of six power-play opportunities.

"In my opinion, the best power-play quarterback in the league," said second-year defenseman Travis Hamonic, who played the other point with the unit.

Streit's goal -- his first since March 30, 2010 -- came on the man-advantage late in the first period. Capitalizing on a beautiful feed from Moulson beneath the goal line, Streit gave the team a 2-0 lead. The group of Streit, Hamonic, Moulson, Frans Nielsen and John Tavares went on to score two more man-up goals.

"I like our power play because everybody's skilled, everybody can shoot the puck, everyone can pass the puck," Streit said. "It was a great start but it was only one game."

Whether it's at even strength or up a man, Streit makes his teammates better. And what he adds on the ice never fails to impress.

"I think the plays that end up in goals are a little more noticeable, but what he brings are all the little things to the table that might go unnoticed," Moulson said. "Sometimes as a teammate you see him pull off a move around a defender or just making a little play and it wows you."

Missed him last year?

"I think you can say that," Moulson said. "That's a little bit of an understatement."



Katie Strang covers the Rangers, Islanders and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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