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13-14 Recaps

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Islanders ended their home schedule on a sour note Tuesday night.The Ottawa Senators scored three goals in the third period to defeat the Isles 4-1 in front of a crowd of 12,922 at Nassau Coliseum. Jason Spezza scored back-to-back goals and Alex Hemsky scored the game winner for the Senators. Matt Kassian's empty net goal sealed the victory for Ottawa."I thought our kids battled," Islander Coach Jack Capuano said. "The most skilled team won the game tonight. There's no question. A highly skilled team that caught our D flat footed on a couple goals there. Spezza is a world class player obviously and Hempsky. We had our chances, but I thought we were pretty structured. I thought our kids worked hard."The game was a scoreless draw for the first 32:45 of the game before Spezza scored his first goal of the contest. His shot from the top of the left circle made it past Anders Nilsson and into the net to put Ottawa up 1-0. The Islanders responded in the opening minute of the third period. Frans Nielsen put home a rebound shot to even the game at one 22 seconds into the period.Nilsson played well after the tying goal and kept the Senators at bay, but at 12:45 Spezza struck again. A quick wrist shot from the Ottawa captain made it under the crossbar to put his team up 2-1. Hempsky scored roughly two minutes later on an impressive play that saw him wiz past the Islanders defense and beat Nilsson.An empty net goal in the final minute sealed the 4-1 victory.The loss was the 19th time the Islanders lost at home this season and marks the fourth straight year they have finished below .500 at Nassau Coliseum. It's not something that the players in the locker room are happy about, and they want the fans to know that."We've got some of the best fans in the league," Travis Hamonic said. "We want to be able to win here first of all for each other. For the organization, for the fans, for Long Island. We want to win here. It's a fun place to win games and the crowd gets behind you. We've got loyal fans and it would be nice to have some better efforts here at home."The Islanders realized that this season has not turned out the way they or the fanbase had hoped it would."Last year we took a step in the right direction, but this year we went back the other way," Matt Martin said. "We have to get back on track, but [the fans] stuck with us this year. My first few years here there wouldn't be people in the stands tonight and there have been a lot of people in the seats this whole season. We're grateful for that."The Islanders have three games remaining in the 2013-14 season. On Thursday they take on the Montreal Candians, followed by a trip to Newark on Friday and wrapping it all up on Sunday in Buffalo against the Sabres.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Christian Arnold

 

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The Columbus Blue Jackets, sitting in the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, looked hungry to solidify their playoff chances and took advantage against 11 Islander rookies. Given six power plays, Columbus made half of them count en route to a shutout on their home ice. They notched three power play goals in their first four opportunities, and the Islanders weren't able to answer. ?

With the loss, the Islanders Tank keeps pace with the Calgary Flames' Tank as the Isles hold the fourth position in the draft lottery. Both teams have 73 points in 78 games with the Islanders holding the tiebreaker of fewer ROW wins (regulation and overtime wins). The Florida Panthers are in third with 64 points and with three games to go, it's not possible for them to pass the Islanders.?

Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz
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UNIONDALE, N.Y -- The Islanders lost more than just a hockey game Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.New York fell 4-3 in the shootout to the Washington Capitals, as well as saw two players leave the game with injuries. Both Michael Grabner and Calvin de Haan suffered injure that forced them to leave Saturday's contest early. Grabner went to the Islander room after taking a fist to the face in the first period and de Haan was shook up after getting tangled up with Alexander Ovechkin behind the net, and then getting hit in the body with a shot.Islander head coach Jack Capuano told reporters after the game that he will be out with an upper body injury. There was no update on de Haan's condition."You don't want to see anybody get hurt," Capuano said. "These are two really good players that log a lot of minutes for us, especially when you have eight to 10 rookies dressed in your lineup. We'll just wait to see what the outcome is and what the doctor has to say."Despite the injuries, the Islanders had been playing well. They jumped to a 1-0 lead 12:55 into the first period off a goal from Cal Clutterbuck. The Capitals tied the game early in the second, but the Islanders responded minutes later.John Persson put the Islanders ahead 2-1 after he shot the puck on net and it snuck through the pads of Capitals' goaltender Braden Holtby. The goal was Persson's first in the National Hockey League. Frans Nielsen made it 3-1 during the power play. Josh Bailey fed Nielsen down low and Nielsen fired a quick one-timer from the face-off circle.But the Capitals just as quickly tied the game back up.Nicklas Backstrom cut the Isles lead to 3-2 with a goal at 12:45 of the second period and Joel Ward tied the game at 15:01. The game tying goal came off a sloppy turnover in the Isles zone. Ward picked off a clearing attempt right in front of the net and easily beat Evgeni Nabokov.The game remained tied through the rest of the game and overtime. It was Evgeny Kuznetsov's lone goal in the shootout that secured the win for the visiting Capitals."Obviously we had that lead, but they kept pressing and they kept coming," Capuano said. "We lose Grabner then we lose de Haan, so I give our guys full marks against a real good team here. A very skilled team. We held some of their guys in check and overall it was good effort."The Islanders had a good effort for the most part in Saturday's loss, but obviously let a win slip away. What can be said for the Isles is that they are hanging with some good teams and giving other teams fighting for a playoff spot trouble."We beat Jersey, we beat columbus," Ryan Strome said after the game. "We've been beating some teams that have really been in the hunt right now. We know the standings. We know where we're at, but a lot of guys are in it for next year and trying to earn spots. These guys are pushing for the playoffs, we're pushing for a job."
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Christian Arnold

Since getting blown out by the Minnesota Wild 6-0 back on March 18, the Islanders have responded by winning five of their last six games.That includes Wednesday night's 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Center in suburban Ottawa. All three goals in the contest came on the man advantage, with the Isles converting on two of their four power play chances. The Isles penalty kill also came up big Wednesday night going four for five."It's always nice. We changed it up a little bit," Islander Coach Jack Capuano said after the game. "We went into a spread and [Josh Bailey] Had the first one. Obviously the second one same thing, you know getting pucks to the net. I'm pretty happy with the way we're moving the puck. There's still opportunities to shoot a little more and we gotta be a little more conscious of that."The Islanders first goal of the game came late in the opening period. With the Isles on the man advantage, Ryan Strome fed Josh Bailey near the hashmarks and put the visitors up 1-0 at 17:09.The score would remain that way until 6:41 of the third period. The Senators found themselves on the man advantage after Johan Sundstrom was sent off for tripping. After a scramble in front of the Milan Michalek put the lose puck past Islander starter Anders Nilsson to tie the game at one. However the Islanders would answer right back moments later.Once again the Islanders power play unit came through with an unlikely member playing hero.Casey Cizikas snuck the puck by Craig Anderson to put the Isles back in front, 2-1. The goal was the first for Cizikas in the last 34 games. The previous goal was recorded back on January 2 against the Chicago Blackhawks.New York held off the Senators the rest of the way, with Nilsson making 35 saves in the Islander win.The victory continues a stretch that has seen the Islanders put up strong showings against teams trying to make the postseason."It shows that there's no quit in here," Bailey said after the win. "I think it's frustrating when you look at the standings, but I think we still have a job to do. Obviously we wish we were in a different position than we're in right now, but that's the way it is and everyone has been working hard... I think it's showed for us by getting a few wins."The Islanders return to Long Island on Saturday to take on the Washington Capitals.
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The Islanders (30-35-10)?defeated the Florida Panthers (27-42-8) by a score of 4-2?Tuesday evening at the?Nassau Coliseum.[sny-box]Less than a minute after Florida took an early 1-0 lead, Travis Hamonic tied up the game with a power-play goal.Josh Bailey tipped in a rebound?to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead 11:18 into the second. Bailey now has 2 goals and 10 assists in his?last 17 games.Matt Martin?scored his eighth goal of the season?-- the most Martin has ever scored in a season.Mike?Halmo scored his first career goal as he batted his own rebound out of the air to give New York a 4-1 lead at the 4:21 mark.[/sny-box]For the full recap, visit SNY.tv.The Islanders will return to action Wednesday?when they take on the Ottawa Senators?at the Canadian Tire Centre?at 7:00 p.m.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Meredith Perri

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Anders Nilsson kept the visiting New Jersey Devils to just one goal and Frans Nielsen secured a 2-1 Islander win in the shootout Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.The victory was the Islanders third in their last four games and they have secured at least one point in the same span. The win also prevented the Devils from gaining ground in the playoff hunt, as they sit three points back from eighth in the Eastern Conference."I don't think we gave them much," said Islander coach Jack Capuano. "To have success you have to play your system. You have to play structured hockey. You have to play discipline hockey and I the guys are coming up and doing a good job."The Islanders controlled much of the first period. They outshot the Devils 9-2 in the opening period and outhit them 19-4. However the game remained scoreless until 2:12 into the second period. Nielsen drove to the net and the puck found its' way past Cory Schneider and into the net to give the Islanders a 1-0.New Jersey evened the score at?one roughly eight minutes later off a rebound goal from Adam Henrique, but it would be the only goal Nilsson would surrender the rest of the game. He finished the game with 23 saves on the night -- which included several big stops in the third with the Devils pressuring -- and a save percentage of .958."It's nice to bounce back with my game a little," Nilsson said. "I tried to play a little calmer and I felt a difference in my game today. The guys helped me out a lot today. They didn't have a lot and the shots they had were from the outside."The guys made it easy for me to play cause I saw most of the shots."In the shootout Nilsson stopped Henrique and Patrick Elias. Nielsen scored in the shootout using his well known backhand shot and Brock Nelson scored as well."You gotta get [the puck] all the way up over his glove," Nielsen said about his shootout move. "It's not easy, but it's been working. So I might as well keep doing it."The Islanders return to action on Tuesday when they host the Florida Panthers at the Coliseum.
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It took thirteen rounds of the shootout for a victor to emerge from the Islanders / Lightning game tonight. In Round 13, Tampa's Sami Salo scored to seal the victory for his club. Frans Nielsen, Brock Nelson, Colin McDonald and Casey Cizikas all scored for the Islanders in the extra session.

The first period went goalless but it took only 29 seconds for the Lightning to get on the board after the first intermission. Newly acquired Ryan Callahan deflected in a point shot from defender Radko Gudas to make it 1-0. The Islanders would answer?just over a minute later when Ryan Strome scored his fifth of the year at the 1:33 mark from a sharp angle. Matt Donovan would put the Islanders ahead halfway through the period. Nielsen made an excellent?feed from behind the net with his back turned to Donovan in the slot, who was able to put it in with a diving effort.

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The Islanders took it to a sleep-walking Hurricanes team tonight in North Carolina. With four goals in the first period including three in the first six minutes, the Islanders jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and (almost) didn't look back.

Unlikely scorer Colin McDonald scored two of the Isles first three goals, which helped to chase Carolina netminder Cam Ward after only six saves in 6:12 of game time. McDonald jammed at a loose puck in the crease to open the scoring only 3:39 into the game and, after Cal Clutterbuck made it 2-0, McDonald deposited a brilliant feed from Calvin de Haan in the back of the net. The goals were McDonald's seventh and eighth of the year.

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With 41 saves from Evgeni Nabokov, the Islanders put a damper on Columbus' playoff hopes at the Coliseum this afternoon with a shutout win. For Nabokov, it was his third shutout of the year and he was named first start of the game.?In a post-game interview with MSG's Peter Ruttgaizer, he reminded those in attendance that he was feeling good by telling the Coliseum crowd "I still got it!" before telling the same to the assembled media in the Isles hallway.?Maybe today was a bit of public posturing by the 38-year old unrestricted free agent to be or maybe it was some of his trademark personality.Regardless of the reason, Nabokov brought to the forefront an off-season question for the Islanders; do they stick with the safety blanket that has been effective but not amazing between the pipes or do they move on to someone else?Goaltending has not been the Islanders strong suit this year by any stretch of the imagination. The team, prior to today's 41-save shutout, had a NHL-worst .888 save percentage, which is the best metric of goaltender evaluation. Nabokov had a personal mark of .898 prior to the game, which was better than Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson but well below ?this year's NHL average of .913.So do the Islanders bring Nabokov back as a starter or backup? You'd certainly have to hope they don't choose the former and pursue a better option either via trade (the unhappy James Reimer from Toronto?) or an unrestricted free agent.The re-sign Nabokov campaign started in earnest at the Coliseum this afternoon, but it doesn't make sense in anything more than a backup role. After three seasons, it's time to move on.

* ?* ?*

Of course there was a whole hockey game played, the result of which matters now in determining the Islanders draft pick at the end of the year, should they choose to not give it to Buffalo for the Thomas Vanek trade.

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- It was a fitting performance for Matt Moulson in his first trip back to Long Island since being traded by the Islanders in October.Moulson scored two goals in the Minnesota Wild's ?6-0 victory over the Islanders on Tuesday night. Five different Wild players scored, with Moulson scoring the game's first as well as final goal. Former Islander Nino Niederreiter also got his name on the score sheet with an assist on Jared Spurgeon's goal."I was pretty nervous before the game," Moulson told reporters from his stall in the visiting locker room at Nassau Coliseum. A place that has been alien to him up until now. "I don't think I slept a minute during pre-game nap today. It was an emotional one coming back here obviously. It was tough at the start for me to really get my mind into it, but getting that first goal kind of calmed me down."That first goal came at 12:23 of the opening period. Moulson was able to sneak a shot by Anders Nilsson from in front of the net to put the Wild up 1-0, and then flashed an all too familiar celebration.Spurgeon scored nearly four minutes later to give the Wild a 2-0 lead over the Isles. Mikael Grunlund made it 3-0 late in the second period and Clayton Stoner pushed the Minnesota lead to four after scoring on a breakaway 4:56 into the third. Justine Fontaine scored moments later and Moulson scored his second of the night on the power play at 16:34.The loss was the fourth time the Islanders have been shutout this season by an opponent."I thought we played a good first period," Islander coach Jack Capuano said. "We were physical. We were doing some things the way we want to play. We played a north-south game and then after that we started playing as individuals. We didn't manage the puck very well."Despite outshooting the Wild 36-22 through three periods, which included a 16-6 shot advantage in the first, the Islanders could not find a way to score. The Islanders had some scoring chances, but failed to really pressure Minnesota for most of the game.However, most of the night was focused on Moulson and how he would handle his first game against his former team.?It's safe to say it was a successful return for the three-time 30 goal scorer.And the Coliseum faithful welcomed him back with cheers during introductions, after each time he scored and with a "We Want Moulson" chant near the end of the game."Coming back you don't know what the receptions is going to be like, but nothing but good things from my time here with the fans and the people. It's a great feeling when something like that happens and I appreciate [Islander fans] just as much as they were showing out there. I have a big place in my heart for this place," said Moulson.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Videos, Christian Arnold

UNIONDALE, N.Y. ? The Islanders have struggled to hold on to a two goal lead in the third period this season.But on Saturday night they did just that, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 at Nassau Coliseum. It was the first time since February 27 that the Islanders have won a game at home.?That was a good 60 minutes we played tonight,? Kyle Okposo said after the win. ?There was never really a doubt and when they scored that power play goal [Strome?s] line came back with a huge goal there to put us back with a two-goal lead. We didn?t look back from there.?The Islanders opened the scoring early in the first period. Frans Nielsen beat Sabres? goaltender Jhonas Enroth with a shot from along the boards to put New York up 1-0 at 3:31. The Isles jumped ahead by two late in the period off a power play goal by Kyle Okposo at 17:24.The score would remain that way until the third period when the Sabres finally scored their first goal of the night.Tyler Ennis scored 56 seconds into the period to pull Buffalo within one goal, but Ryan Strome answered right back with a highlight reel goal 40 seconds later to put the Islanders back in front by two. Cal Clutterbuck secured the win with an empty net goal at 17:47.?We got a lead, didn?t give it up. They scored one on the power play and we responded within a minute. It?s nice to see. It?s different guys stepping up at this point. The way things have gone as of late, we got the lead and we held on to it.? We had a pretty good game. One of the better games as of late,? Travis Hamonic said.The Islanders finished the game outshooting the Sabres 38-34 and the defense kept the Buffalo power play to just one goal on six chances. Isles starter Anders Nilsson made 37 saves, which included 10 in the third when the team needed them the most.Nilsson credited his performance with the play of the defenseman saying, ?they played so good.??They helped me out a lot,? Nilsson said. ?They cleared out the guys in front of me so I saw pretty much every shot and had a clear view. No backdoor plays or nothing, so all the guys in front of me played a good game.?
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Islanders' young guns played well Friday night, but the more experienced San Jose Sharks left Nassau Coliseum with a 4-3 victory.The loss was the 17th defeat on home ice this year for the Isles and moved them to an NHL worst 9-17-8 at home. The Islanders started off the game well, but the Sharks responded and were first to score in the opening period.Matt Nieto was able to beat former Shark Evgeni Nabokov stick side to put the visitors ahead 1-0. The Sharks jumped ahead 2-0 1:19 later courtesy of a tough angle shot from Jason Demers. The Islanders were able to pull within one in the second period, but San Jose extended their lead back to two goals after Joe Thornton took advantage of a juicy rebound given up by Nabokov.The Islanders came within one goal once again at 17:02 of the second, however the Sharks scored over a minute later to make it 4-2. Frans Nielsen scored with 22 seconds left in the third period to cut it the San Jose lead to 4-3, but the Islanders could not tie the game with the remaining time."Great effort from our guys tonight," Islander Coach Jack Capuano said. "That's one hell of a hockey team over there. They have a lot of skill. You can see early on when you get a little bit of a breakdown it's in the back of your net... ?A couple of our young guys, we had a couple mistakes that we gotta correct in the D-zone, but they worked hard tonight as a group."And the Islanders did play decent for most of the game. The start of the contest saw the Isles swarm San Jose, but they just didn't capitalize. Rookies Brock Nelson and Anders Lee continued their strong play, with each scoring a goal in the loss.Lee was on the Isles top line and finished the game with two points (1 goal, 1 assist)."I'm just trying to get the pucks to the net.?Try to hang around there and sometimes they go," he said after the game in response to a question about his strong play.Friday night was also the NHL debut of Johan Sundstrom, who played 10:28 against the Sharks.As well as some of the young Islanders played there is still things for them to learn. Players like Ryan Strome, who finished the game a minus-3 and struggled a bit in the loss, still have aspects of their game to iron out and Capuano understands that."Some of these are learning now," said Capuano. "They're learning the tough way and you can see that when you see a couple of the goals that were against tonight. But as a coach you have to stay positive with these young guys. They're 20-years-old, you have to keep teaching them and you have to find a way."
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The Islanders surrendered a lead in the third period for the second straight game tonight in Calgary with a 4-3 loss to the Flames. It was also the second time this week allowing 3+ goals in the third period. After leading 3-1 at the second intermission, Calgary stormed back with three in the third to hand the Islanders a regulation defeat.

Standout rookie Sean Monahan scored his 19th of the year for the Flames sandwiched between two goals from Joe Colborne, his sixth and seventh tallies of the season.

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In the first game of the post-Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald era, the Islanders fell to the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in overtime on the road.The Islanders held a 2-0 lead going into the third period -- an all to familiar situation -- when the Oilers scored two goals in the final frame to force overtime. Sam Gagne forced a neutral zone turnover in overtime and drove to the net. His shot deflected off the stick of Taylor Hall and into the net to pull off the come from behind win for the Oilers."I think our young guys struggled," Islander Coach Jack Capuano told MSG Plus after the loss. "Right before Travis's penalty that line had a tough shift. You should always be in support as a low centerman there and I know we got walked, and gave them momentum. They scored on that and then obviously in overtime we mismanaged the puck."The Islanders opened the scoring on a short handed goal by Frans Nielsen at 9:58 of the first period. Cal Clutterbuck and Nielsen started a two-on-one rush and Nielsen blasted a shot past Oilers' starter Ben Scrivens. Anders Lee made it 2-0, redirecting a shot from the point past Scrivens.The score would remain 2-0 until the third, when the Islanders started to let the game slip away. Through two periods they were the better team and outshot the Oiler 23-14 in that span.But Edmonton scored two goals in the third period and Hall scored the overtime winner to hand the Islanders their fifth loss in their last eight games."We shut them down for most of the game.I don't know, we played solid and it was just a couple of breakdowns," said Calvin de Haan.Thursday's game began a stretch where the overall outcome of games does not really matter, rather players are playing for jobs next season. Rookie Anders Lee understands that and has stepped up to the challenge."It's a huge opportunity," He said. "We have a chance to come in here and try to make a difference and try to make a positive impact. You don't get too many of these [opportunities] ?and you wanna take full advantage of it."The Islanders have a quick turn around after Thursday's loss; They take on the Calgary Flames on Friday night in Calgary.
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After a 6-1 drubbing at the Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, the Islanders looked as though they had rebounded nicely on Sunday in a matinee against the Florida Panthers. If you stopped watching after the second period, as the team did, the Islanders had a nice 3-1 lead in front of the home crowd. But that's why they play sixty minutes.

The Panthers came up with four goals in the third period and made it look easy en route to a 5-3 victory. For the Islanders, it was their third straight home defeat where they blew a two-goal lead.?

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. ? After getting a feel good win on Thursday, The Islanders were steamrolled by the New Jersey Devils, 6-1, Saturday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum.The Islanders were already trailing 1-0 after the first period when Devils scored four goals in the second period to put away the game.? Jaromir Jagr started off the second period scoring at 3:31. His goal was the 700th of his career and put New Jersey ahead 2-0. A little over a minute later Ryan Clowe scored 10 seconds into a Devil Power play.The Islanders cut the lead back down to two goals, as Kyle Okposo was able to redirect a Thomas Vanek shot past Martin Brodeur. But the Devils moved ahead 4-1 after Marek Zidlicky scored New Jersey's third power play goal of the game. Mark Fayne made it 5-1 with a blast from the point at 14:54 of the second period.Eric Gelinas scored on the power play at 19:21 of the third to make it 6-1 New Jersey."We gave up some power play goals there and I think that fourth one really put a dagger in us," Okposo said after the game. The Devils capitalized on four of the eight power play chances they had. The play of the Islanders' special teams did not sit well with head coach Jack Capuano."For me it starts with the first eight seconds and we had chances to really pressure in the first eight seconds, and we didn't. We allowed some seams that we normally don't allow," said Capuano. "We just didn't respond after the first couple they got and that's the one thing we have to address to our guys. It's how you respond and we didn't really do a good job of that there tonight. We left our goalie out to dry on a few of those."Nabokov, who made 14 saves in the loss, was pulled after the second period. Anders Nilsson made 15 saves and gave up one goal in relief.The Islanders will play again in less than 24 hours, hosting the Florida Panthers on Sunday at three. The Isles are 5-5-2 on the back end of back-to-back contests this season.The quick turn around gives the team the chance to quickly put the loss behind them. "You just have to forget about it and we're lucky we can play tomorrow so we can come out with a better effort," Okposo said.Capuano would not say who would get the start for Sunday's later afternoon contest against the Panthers or if Thomas Vanek will sit.
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- In their first game since the Olympic break ended the Islanders came away with a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.Despite blowing a one-goal lead in the third period, the Islanders came from behind twice to in the game's final frame to force OT. Newly crowned assistant captain Lubomir Visnovsky scored the game winner 1:55 into the extra period. The Islander defenseman was in the right place at the right time as the puck found him in the slot and he shot it past Jonathan Bernier."I just shoot on the net," Visnovsky said of the game winner. "I think the goalie (might have) touched it. It was a little bit of a lucky shot."The win was a boost for the Islanders, who struggled going into the Olympic break. And without their captain John Tavares the team is facing an even tougher battle to climb back into the playoff picture. Thursday night the Islanders responded well in their first game without Tavares. Michael Grabner scored two shorthanded goals and rookie Anders Lee had two goals of his own in the third.With the Isles trailing ?1-0 in the first period Michael Grabner recorded two shorthanded goals in the span of 48 seconds to put his team ahead 2-1. It was the first time since April 17, 1999 that an Islander player scored two goals on the same penalty kill.The score remained that way until the Leafs found the back of the net in the third period. Paul Ranger tied the game 8:50 into the game and Dion Phaneuf gave Toronto the 3-2 lead moments later off a one-timer from the face-off circle.Lee scored the first of his two goals at 12:52 during a power play, but Joffrey Lupul gave the Maple Leafs the lead right back a little over minute later. However with things looking bleak for the Islanders, Lee found the back of the net again. This time finding a way to push the puck past Bernier during a scramble in front of the net."He (the ref) saw it moving. Didn?t stop until it got in," Lee explained. The two goals were the first for Lee this season and the first time he's scored since his NHL debut back on April 2, 2013 against the Winnipeg Jets.Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano was happy with what he saw for Lee, along with Ryan Strome and Mike Halmo. Halmo and Lee were making their first NHL appearances of the year, and Strome was playing in his first NHL game since January 14."(Lee) is as advertised," Capuano said. "He's a big that goes to the net and that's where he scores goals."
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The story line for Saturday night's loss was eerily similar to the one from Thursday.Despite being the better team early on -- at one point outshooting the Colorado Avalanche 10-1 -- the Avs took the lead in the first period and never looked back. The Islanders did cut the Colorado lead to just one late in the third, but the visitors added two goals in the final minute to secure a 5-2 win."Same old story," Islander Coach Jack Capuano said after the loss. "We dominated the game and we don't win a hockey game... We had some unbelievable chances."The Avalanche tallied the game's first goal 13:04 into the first period. Nathan MacKinnon put one past Evgeni Nabokov after Eric Boulton had pushed an Avalanche player into the Islander netminder, making it impossible for Nabokov to make the save.Matt Duchene made it 2-0 Avalanche early in the second period, tallying his first of two goals in the contest. He gave Colorado the 3-0 lead 2:44 later. A tough angle shot from the Avs' star went past Nabokov's glove and top shelf into the net.But an avalanche of penalties against Colorado allowed the Islanders to claw back into the game midway through the third.With Cody McLeod, Andre Benoit and Maxim Talbot all in the box the Islanders had a five-on-three power play opportunity. John Tavares got the Islanders on the board at 11:17 to cut it to a 3-1 Avalanche lead. Colorado took another penalty less than a minute after the Islander goal and put the home team back on the five-on-three advantage.Four seconds later a blast from the point by Lubomir Visnovsky cut the Avs lead to just one.But the Islanders couldn't find the equalizer with the remaining power play time. It looked as though Brock Nelson had tied the game in the waining minutes of regulation, but his shot just glided across the goal line.Colorado added two empty net goals in the final minute and came away with the win."There's a lot of frustration," said Travis Hamonic, who was appearing in his first game since January 12. "I feel like we had a great start and kind of shot ourselves in the foot there in the second period to be quite honest with you. Power play definitely hasn't been clicking and it was nice that we could take advantage of kind of an unfamiliar setting when you have that many five-on-threes in a row."The Tavares power play goal ended an 0-33 power play drought that the Islanders had going, but the fact that the two power play goals came on a two man advantage dampened the fact that the special teams had finally come through. When the Islanders needed it the most, the power play unit failed to convert on a five-on-four power play."Yeah a five-on-three goal, a little relief," Capuano said. "It was good to see guys shoot pucks. Again we shot a puck. [Josh Bailey] throws it over to Johnny and he shoots a puck. That's what we gotta do, but we had some other ones that were so so."The Islanders will now head into the 18-day Olympic break having lost five of their last six games and the latest loss moves the Isles further out of playoff positioning."It leaves a pretty sour taste in your mouth going into the break," Hamonic said. "But you try to use that as a bit of motivation heading into the last 22 [games]."
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Christian Arnold

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It's been happening a lot lately and it happened again on Monday afternoon at the Coliseum; the Islanders trailed by two goals heading into the third but managed to complete a comeback to force overtime. They would win in the shootout, completing their fifth comeback win in the last eight games.

First star of the afternoon should probably go to Kyle Okposo, who pulled off the Gordie Howe hat trick. Okposo got into a fight with Braydon Coburn in the first period. The American seemed to take special offense to a slash from Coburn, maybe something that carried over from Saturday night as well. In the second, he would assist on the Isles first goal and in the third, as has been the case many times this year, Okposo would be instrumental in the Islanders comeback. He would score the game-tying goal on the power play with about three minutes to go, sending the game to the extra session. All that continues a stellar year for the American, with 20 goals and 49 points in 50 games. That's only three off a career high in points and four off a career high in goals.

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Heading into the third up one on a divisional opponent that they are chasing in the standings, the Islanders sorely needed two points and, if possible, to take those two points in regulation. In the end, the Islanders got nothing. They'll get nothing and like it.

The team finished 4-2 on the six game roadie, certainly a good mark but not what they needed as they continue to chase in the Metro Division. After tonight's game, they sit seven back of Columbus for the 8th playoff spot and on top of that, the Blue Jackets have two extra games to play. They closed three points over the course of the road trip but that could have been four or, with one more good period, five.?

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The good times came to an end with a thud Tuesday night for the Islanders.After winning four straight games, and seven straight on the road, the Isles watched as the Panthers scored three goals in the first period and one in the second while on their way to a 4-2 victory. It was the first time since February 12, 2012 that the Panthers defeated the Islanders.Similarly to previous games the Islanders first period left a lot to be desired. The team was out shot and out played ?in the first, allowing the Panthers to score less than a minute into the game. Aleksander Barkov gave Florida the 1-0 lead 34 seconds into the period. The Isles managed to hold off the Panthers for a while, including a five-on-three power play opportunity for Florida, but the home team found the back of the net yet agin late in the first.Drew Shore scored at 15:34 to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead and Nick Bjugstad made it 3-0 with 34 seconds left in the period.?In the second period, Florida added one more goal late with the Islanders on the power play. Scottie Upshall made it 4-0 at 15:59.The Islanders did manages to get two goals of their own during Tuesday night's loss. Colin McDonald scored in the final minute of the second and Thomas Vanek cut the Panthers lead to 4-2 ?2:38 into the third period.But unlike in Dallas and Colorado, there was no comeback on this night. The Islanders had a few chances in the third period, however the Florida defense and the goaltending of Tim Thomas, who made 31 saves, was enough to keep the Islanders from climbing back into the game."I thought we played a pretty good game, but we talk about our puck managment all the time. Then obviously those two [goals] and the shorthanded really hurt us," Islanders Coach Jack Capuano said after the loss.The loss should serve as a wake up call to the Islanders on what can happen when you do not start off a game strong. The Isles were outshot 10-8 in the first and allowed the Panthers all the chances in the world during the period. The visitors eventually found their rythem in the second and third period, but by then it was too late for them.However Capuano did not characterize the start as slow, but rather said it was about puck management."I don't think it was a slow start," he said. I think it's how you manage the puck. The puck is on their stick and they have to make a play with it. The first and third goal is a prime example of that. I thought we were playing pretty good and then the late one in the first hurt us... From my standpoint it's always about how we managed the puck. We made some bad errors coming out of our end tonight."The Islanders will have the chance to rebound on Thursday when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Christian Arnold

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The Islanders really seem to have a flair for the dramatic lately.After coming from behind on Friday night to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1, the Islanders did it once again on Sunday to beat the Dallas Stars 4-2. It was the Isles fourth straight win, their longest winning streak this season, and the team's seventh consecutive win on the road.After giving up two goals in the first, Kyle Okposo scored in the second period and again in the third to tie the game. Then with 1:24 left in the contest John Tavares gave the Islanders their first lead of the night. Calvin de Haan was up in the play and sent a no look pass in front of the net to Tavares, who buried the puck past Dan Ellis."I wanted to shoot the puck, but I kind of mishandled it a little bit, " de Haan said while describing the play. "I knew we had support back door, it just happened to be Johnny. It got through and it went in, so it was a big goal."The second and third periods were a stark difference from the first for the Isles. The Stars were the stronger team in the first, outshooting the visitors 16-9 and scoring their only two goals of the game in that period. Ray Whitney scored 11:45 into the first and Sergei Gonchar scored off a defensive zone turnover by Brock Nelson.The Islanders pushed back in the second period, generating more scoring chances and eventually finding the back of the net. Okposo scored his first goal of the game at 10:47 on an odd-man rush for New York.The momentum continued into the third where Okposo tied the game late in the period, going top shelf on his shot from the top of the face-off circle. Nearly three minutes later Tavares scored the game winner and Brock Nelson sealed the win with an empty net goal with 52 seconds left in the game."They're a resilient bunch of guys right now and they're working hard playing with some confidence," Islander coach Jack Capuano said after the win.Since the calendar turned to 2014 the Islanders have looked like the team everyone saw during last season. Despite falling behind time after time, the Islanders have battled back and have found ways to win. Tavares has continued to do what he is expected to do and Thomas Vanek has really seemed to compliment Tavares and Okposo on the top line.And Calvin de Haan had one of his best games as ?an Islander Sunday in Dallas. The rookie defenseman saw 22:52 of playing time, was a plus-2 and finished the game with two points. de Haan had a hand in both the game-tying and winning goal. Not to mention several smart defensive plays during the course of the game.The only negative to come from Sunday was the absence of Travis Hamonic, who missed the third period. Hamonic was ill and got too dehydrated to complete the rest of the game, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple.?The Islanders will look to make it five wins in a row on Tuesday when they take on the Florida Panthers.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Christian Arnold
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The Colorado Avalanche are a fast team that is built for speed and that was on full display Friday night from the opening whistle.It drew them a power play early on when Matt Duchene blasted down the wing three minutes in and blew up Andrew MacDonald, causing him to take a holding penalty (it was more of a flail and hope for the best than anything else). In the second, they would get on the board with a blazing breakaway goal from Nathan MacKinnon.But in the extra session, it would be the Islanders own Flying Austrian who would win the game with his feet.In a up-and-down overtime session, Michael Grabner found himself on a breakaway but wasn't able to put the puck past Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov. He was able to keep on the puck, swooped around the offensive zone and hit the back of the net on a shot from the slot to give the Islanders two points.It was an important second point for the Isles, too. Both Washington and the Rangers won tonight, so the Islanders needed to keep pace in the Metro division playoff hunt. They currently are nine back of Washington, eight behind the Rangers, but it's actually Detroit they are chasing at the moment, seven back of the Wings.Yes, the terrible, no good, very bad Metro Division now not only holds one of the wild card playoff spots but it actually holds the higher wild card spot.Not only have the Islanders been playing well lately -- three in a row and six-of-seven -- but every team in the division save Columbus has points in at least seven of their last ten. The division as a whole is positively regressing, making the Isles current streak that much tougher to gain points and making their 10-game losing streak that much more painful.

* ?* ?*

The first period tonight would go scoreless, but the Islanders had a number of chances to break the tie. Frans Nielsen in particular did a good job creating pressure and turnovers in the opposing zone, giving himself two 2-on-1s. The first he opted to pass to Cal Clutterbuck and the second he kept for himself, but neither would find the back of the net.The Islanders did have a power play of their own in the first and nearly scored, as John Tavares had a point blank opportunity but was hit with a bad trip -- slew foot, even -- from an Avs defender. A bad no call from the referees.Later on in the second, the Avs would show their speed again as first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon flew past everyone in for a clear breakaway on Kevin Poulin. MacKinnon got a quick up from Andre Benoit and made it look easy, catching Matt Donovan flat footed and beating Poulin for the goal.Of all the goals that Donovan has had a front row seat for, this is one that was honestly more of an impressive play from the opposition than it was a screw up for the defense.Credit is due to Kevin Poulin tonight, who had an excellent performance in the Islanders net especially with a lot of Flying Forwards bearing down on him. Poulin stopped 30-of-31, his best performance of the year outside of San Jose.To keep up the team's hot streak and keep his spot when Nabokov returns, Poulin is going to have to do more of this. The Islanders -- defense induced or not -- have had spotty goaltending most of the year. Nabokov was playing well before the injury and a good stretch from Poulin will be just what the doctor ordered for the team.The TV broadcast mentioned at the outset that Poulin was 'hot' coming into the game, which was, uh, curious considering he had played only three times since December 13th and had a combined .885 save percentage in those games. Tonight was a stark departure from that for Poulin on a night when the Avs were exposing some of the slower Islanders defenders.Four and a half minutes into the third, Brock Nelson scored on a wacky broken play to bring the Islanders even. After getting knocked down in the offensive zone, he made an excellent play from the seat of his pants to keep the puck in the Avs end.?All the way in the offensive zone corner defender Calvin de Haan dug it out of the corner and fed the slot. The puck would find its way back to Nelson's stick and he buried it.Yet again, as it has been many times during this streak, young Islanders were a key in the win; Poulin in net, and de Haan to Nelson for the tying goal.In overtime, it would be Grabner for the win to give the Islanders their sixth victory in seven games. They head to Dallas on Sunday for the third of a six game road trip. They've earned all four possible points thus far.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz
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Seriously, who are the real Islanders? After a sleepy first period where the Stars took a 2-0 lead to the intermission and Evgeni Nabokov left with an injury, it looked like another "what will go wrong next?" kind of night for the Islanders. And then the Isles scored four in the second, three in the third to trounce Dallas 7-3 at the Coliseum.?It was 20 minutes of medicore-to-bad hockey followed inexplicably by 40 minutes of great hockey. If they can channel the intensity level of the last two periods more often, then they'll really have something.Everything seemed to go the Islanders way tonight. It was one of those "easy" victories that fans can revel in and just enjoy the last 10 minutes instead of stressing out a close game. The power play was clicking, 3-for-6 on the night. Young Islanders stepped up and contributed; Brock Nelson, Calvin de Haan and Ryan Strome combined for four points on the night, including two goals. Peter Regin -- REGIN! -- scored tonight and inexplicably had his best game as an Islander tonight (by a country mile). More of all of this, please.

John Tavares Plays Hockey Really Well

Obvious statement is obvious.John Tavares, man. That's a hell of a game right there. Three goals, two assists for five points. He's now third in the NHL in points after a breakout game tonight.The first goal was a slam dunk off a beauty of a pass from Thomas Vanek, tying the game at 2-2 in the second. Rich Peverly flubbed a pass in front of his own net and, well, you really shouldn't do that when Tavares and Thomas Vanek are in the area. This goal is embedded below for posterity.What a great pass from Vanek.So, Tavares factored into five of the team's seven goals and helped the power play absolutely go to work. The Isles were 3-of-6 on the man advantage including?Ryan Strome's First NHL Goal.Don't overlook Vanek, either. He had two helpers tonight and now has 27 points in 28 games as an Islanders. Man, if they can figure out a way to keep him...

Welcome Back, Matt Donovan

Well, that's a tough way to start things back up in his first NHL game since being called up from Bridgeport... To give the Stars the lead early in the first (yeesh) Donovan made an ill-advised pass to the middle of his own zone that was intercepted and converted by Jamie Benn.On the Dallas side of things, an excellent play by an excellent player. On the Donovan side, a terrible, no good, very bad way to re-initiate oneself to the NHL. It's the plays like these that make Donovan so frustrating to watch, and also apparently the rationale to send him down last time.He's clearly out grown the AHL, putting up a point per game when he was recently sent back down. He's also clearly got some kinks to work out in the NHL.Overall, his play is actually quite good. But it's hard to watch these big, costly mistakes rear their ugly heads. Growing pains.

Coming Up, More Poulin

Evgeni Nabokov left tonight's game in the first period with an injury. There's no word on what it is or the severity of it but I'd say there's no doubt that you'll see Kevin Poulin tomorrow night. You also may see lots more of Kevin Poulin in the coming week(s), again, depending on the severity of Nabokov's injury.It's unfortunate for Nabokov and the Islanders, the veteran netminder has been playing well since returning from a groin injury. Now Poulin, who hasn't seen much action since Nabokov returned, will have another chance to prove himself. The defense has looked better in front of Nabokov lately and Brian Strait has returned. Will Poulin fare better this time around?
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz
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 Without John Tavares, the Islanders had a different look on the ice but on the scoreboard the result was similar to their recent results at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders lost 2-1 to New Jersey to extend their home losing streak to eight games in a row (0-4-4), the last win coming on November 16 against Detroit. As is the case with seemingly every game against the Devils, it was a quiet first 40 minutes with neither team mustering too many serious chances. New Jersey jumped ahead early with a goal from Adam Henrique halfway through the first period. Reid Boucher threw a nice cross-ice feed to set up the play on a rush and Cal Clutterbuck's backcheck barely grazed Henrique.?The Coliseum was really relatively quiet for much of the first 40 minutes save for some boos at the end of the second period, as the Islanders failed on a power play at the end of the frame.In the third, the Islanders came out hot to start the period and gave fans a reason to cheer when Frans Nielsen tied the game nine and a half minutes in. Falling through the slot Kyle Okposo through a great pass from his knees to Nielsen. The shot deflected off a defender in front and beat Corey Schneider to tie up the game. The goal was Nielsen's third in five games and he also has a five game point streak.Sidebar about Okposo; how many excellent plays and passes did he have today? While a lot of the team was lacking energy he made more than a few nice plays to setup teammates in the offensive zone. For one, there was a behind the back beauty from the blueline to setup Casey Cizikas for a wide open chance in the right face off circle in the third. Hopefully that one makes the highlight package.But less than three minutes later the Devils would retake the lead on a play that was as much dumb luck as it was a nice play. Jaromir Jagr did what a great player like Jaromir Jagr does and dragged the puck around the zone buying time before pulling a 180 and setting up Marek Zidlicky for an open slapper. In true bad luck did that really go in wait yes it did how in the hell Islanders fashion, Zidlicky's shot deflected off of Travis Zajac's face(?) and in the back of the net. Because of course it did.

Where Were Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson in the third?

Bailey headed off to the dressing room in the third period and didn't play in the final nine minutes. There was no word on his status immediately following the game.As for Brock Nelson, well, he got benched for much of the third period. After 13 shifts in the first two periods on the first line and power play unit, he took only two in the third for a grand total of 1:56. With no John Tavares in the lineup and Josh Bailey in the locker room, Jack Capuano skated with 11 forwards for much of the third period. For some reason.

Speaking of ice time...

The Islanders had a gift of an opportunity on the power play late in the third period. With three and a half to go they got a power play and managed only two shots on the man advantage and couldn't cash in for the tying goal. Halfway through, Capuano called time out and double shifted that top power play unit. That's a pretty good idea but the Islanders didn't capitalize on it, doing not much of anything on the power play following the time out.In the final minute, it was a weird group of Islanders on the ice. Colin McDonald, Casey Cizikas, Michael Grabner, Thomas Hickey, Ryan Strome and Travis Hamonic. The first two are the weirdest choices, because Cizikas is more of a defensive player and Colin McDonald is not a goal scorer and is a team worst -14. While the double shifting of the top line on the power play explains it a bit, not putting Nelson out in that situation seems biting your nose to spite your face. Even if he's having a bad game or in the dog house, Nelson is still a better choice when you're pressing for a tying goal.

Up next...

The Islanders head to Minnesota for a game against the Wild at 8pm tomorrow. Surely the Nino Niederreiter/Cal Clutterbuck trade won't be rehashed at all.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz

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The Islanders scored three times during a six-minute span in the first period tonight, and that's all they would need to get past the Red Wings. They got out shot 11-2 in the second period but bounced back for a strong third, outshooting Detroit 10-6 in the final period.

Evgeni Nabokov earned his first shutout since March 24th, stopping all 23 shots he faced.

Each of the Islanders three goals came from three different lines, and nine different players tallied points on the night. Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner and Casey Cizikas were the goal scorers.

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The Islanders have won only one game in regulation since November 12 but if it's going to only be one, it might as well be against arch rivals on their home ice. ?

In a high-scoring affair at Madison Square Garden the Isles got contributions from a lot of unexpected and odd sources. First were two shorthanded goals, one of which was Michael Grabner's first since opening night on October 4. The other shortie was from Cal Clutterbuck, which came on a penalty shot. Josh Bailey also picked up his first point since November 19 and Ryan Strome added his first NHL point, both of those coming as assists on Brian Strait's first regular season goal of his career.

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"That's about the worst I've seen them play all year," Jack Capuano said of his defense after the Islanders lost 6-3 in Phoenix tonight.?"We don't have a lot of options obviously. It's just, they struggled tonight."And struggle the defense did. The Islanders allowed four straight goals,three over a four-minute stretch in the second period, to turn a 1-0 lead into a 4-1 deficit on the road.Aaron Ness, for one, was -3 on the night and had a rather unfortunate moment on the Coyotes second goal. ?Rob Klinkhammer's shot seemed to be going through the crease but it hit off a sprawled Ness and went into the back of the net. The Yotes third goal came on a scramble in front that saw Frans Nielsen and Thomas Hickey diving towards the net behind Poulin. And the fourth was a 'welcome to the NHL' sort of moment where Ness was soft in coverage on Mike Ribeiro, and you can't soft cover a scorer like Riberio.To their credit, the Islanders battled back late in the second. A makeshift line of Vanek, Tavares and Clutterbuck crashed the net and came away with a goal. Then, Kyle Okposo scored diving across the crease on a deflection to bring the Islanders within one in a 90-second span.But late in the period the Coyotes scored and it seemed like that goal broke the Islanders back tonight. Mikkel Boedker had time and space and rifled a wrister past Kevin Poulin with a minute to go.From there the frustration seemed to set in for everyone.MSG cameras caught assistant coach Doug Weight and Tavares having a spirited, and without knowing the context a possibly innocuous conversation heading to the locker room after the second period.The Islanders didn't have too much life in the third and weren't able to capitalize on the chances they did have (two powerplays, for instance). Towards the end, Matt Martin and Tim Kennedy went at each other at center ice, with Martin cross-checking Kennedy as he was down on the ice. Keith Yandle came in from behind with a cross-check on Martin, which was a bit dirty of a play. And Kyle Okposo managed to get himself a trip to the locker room for a game misconduct on the play. In the postgame, coach Capuano seemed terse in responding to questions about another loss. So now the Islanders head home for Montreal with a 1-4 road trip, their 11th loss in 12 games and no regulation wins since November 12th.

What's wrong with the D?

For help, we turn to a former Islanders defender:https://twitter.com/Whitemooseranch/status/411336462739578880

Cizikas Hurt

Casey Cizikas left during the first period and did not return due to a jaw injury. Cizikas took a (uncalled) high stick to the face.

GIF of the Night

Click here if the image is not moving.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- On Saturday night it was Alex Ovechkin who dashed the Islanders hopes of ending their losing streak. Tuesday night it was Sidney Crosby who danced through the Isles defense and scored with 1:16 left in overtime to lift the Penguins to a 3-2 victory.It was another tough loss for the Islanders, who played a hard fought game through the sixty minute affair, but could not come away with the two points. The loss moved the Isles losing streak to seven games as the team gets set to head off on a five game road trip out west."We lost another game. I mean there's not much feeling good about it again," John Tavares told reporters after the game. "We can talk about we did some good things, ?but we just didn't get the job done and thats what matters most."The overtime loss was the team's best performance in the four game home stand that saw the team pick up just two of the available eight points in the standings.The game started off well for New York as the team kept pace with the conference leading Penguins. The Islanders eventually got on the board at the 9:53 mark of the first period. A turnover in the offensive zone allowed the Islanders to go the other way. Okposo threw the puck at the net and with the everyone crashing the net, the puck found its' way in.Okposo made it 2-0 3:02 later, firing a shot from the top of the face-off circle and snuck through the pads of Mar-Andrea Fleury.The Penguins scored their first goal of the game on the power play in the final minute of the second period. The Pens struck again on the power play to tie the game in the third. Sidney Crosby fired a one-timer from the face-off circle on the near side of the ice and beat Anders Nilsson to tie the game.Crosby found the back of the net again, in impressive fashion, to win the the game 3:44 into overtime."Crosby came in with speed and somehow the puck trickles in," said Nilsson, who made 31 saves in the loss. The rookie goaltender had another strong performance for the Isles and showed a lot of poise against the Penguins."I felt comfortable today," Nilsson later said. I saw the puck well and tracking the puck well. The defenseman kept them to the outside and I saw ?a lot of shots. They made it easy for me to play."Aside from Tuesday night's game frustratingly ending in an OT goal from Crosby, the Islanders seemed to be upset with some of the calls, or lack there of, made during the game. There were several instances where calls went unnoticed, while other calls were penalized."I have a lot of respect for those guys and what they do," Okposo said of the officials. "I know they have a tough job and I wouldn't want to have it, but I thought that they missed some calls tonight."
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Christian Arnold

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The story of Saturday night's game could be summed up by the look of frustration on the face of Colin McDonald afterwards.The Islanders were 48.9 seconds away from snapping their five-game losing streak until Nicklas Backstrom dashed their hopes by scoring a shorthanded goal to tie the game. Alexander Ovechkin scored 2:07 into overtime to get the 3-2 win for the Washington Capitals and extend the Isles rough patch to 2-10-1 in their last 13."We gotta find a way to win that game," McDonald said frustratedly. The Islanders gave a better performance than the previous five games and were the better team for most of the game. New York outshot and out chanced the Capitals, but at the end of the night they still could not come away with two points.The Capitals carried a one goal lead into the third period, but it quickly disappeared after Cal Clutterbuck was able to score on a shorthanded breakaway at 3:59. The game remained tied until the final two minutes, when Thomas Vanek was able to put a loose puck past Braden Holtby to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead.But like so many games before, a mistake cost the Isles big time.With the Islanders on the power play, Jason Chimera was able to send a pass from behind the net to Backstrom in front and tie the game in the final minute. Ovechkin won it for Washington by score from the top of the slot."It's just a couple mistakes here and there, and I think as a line we didn't do the job on that last shift," John Tavares said following the loss. "That's not good enough. We have to bear down and do the little things. Fundamental things that are part of the game. We got to be accountable on that and it's not good enough with a power play, man-advantage, that we allow them to tie it up. It's just not good enough."Tavares's line was on the ice when Backstrom tied the game in the third and it was not something that Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano envisioned could have happened when he sent them out there. "That was the last thing I expected when you got those five guys on the ice to happen, but it happened," he said.It may have been the Islanders best performance during their skid, but it was far from perfect. The Isles did not convert on several golden opportunities given to them, including a chance by Kyle Okposo to put the puck into a virtual empty net during a power play, and the team's passing was rough at times.However the Islanders effort was much better than the night before when the Red Wings rolled over them 5-0."I think it was there tonight," Capuano said referring to the team's effort. "... You take a step in the right direction. It was probably one of the best third periods we've played all year. The second got away from us a little bit, but we ?defended hard. They've got some skilled guys. I thought we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish tonight and we got the lead in the third. Just frustrating that it has to end that way."
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Christian Arnold

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If the Islanders gave some amount of effort and competed on Wednesday night against Winnipeg -- debatable -- there was no effort or compete this afternoon against the Red Wings at the Coliseum.

It was an ugly 5-0 defeat that saw literally nothing go well for the Islanders. Kevin Poulin was bad in net, the defense hung him out to dry yet again and the offense didn't have many prolific chances despite managing 29 shots to Detroit's 30.

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It's another loss for the Islanders -- one they honestly played even?with the Penguins at 5-on-5 -- and another night where the same problems continue to plague them. And those problems aren't just problems, they may more accurately be described as huge gaping holes in the bow that continue to sink the ship.

Defense

The defense was a fire drill the entire night. That's a situation that has been made worse by injury and was not improved upon in the off-season, either. The combination of those two items is now coming back to kill the Islanders, as goaltender Kevin Poulin was hung out like wet laundry tonight. Each of the Penguins four goals were bang-bang plays and seamless cross-ice passes that are the kind of dazzling plays that make the Penguins one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL. It was a gifted offensive team taking advantage of a far inferior opponent. The Penguins weren't on another level, as might usually be the case, they were on another planet and there was nothing the Islanders defense could do about it.

Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. ? A familiar storyline reared its? ugly head Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum.With a two-goal lead heading into the third period, the Islanders watched as that lead disappeared in the game?s final frame. They then watched as Tyler Toffoli scored the game winner with just 1:27 left on the clock to lift the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 come from behind victory."Two points we're gonna be kicking ourselves about in a game we played pretty well obviously until the third period," John Tavares said after the loss."Every part of our game let us down. The power play to start, the penalty kill, five-on five. Just not good enough and we gotta get these messages through our head about what it takes to win on a consistent basis against good hockey teams."The Islanders had carried a two-goal lead after forty minutes had been played. Casey Cizikas scored at 2:44 of the second period to give the Islanders the 1-0 lead. A little over two minutes later Aaron Ness scored his first NHL goal ?from the slot to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.But once the third period came things quickly turned.Nearly six minutes into the period Slava Voynov found a hole in Poulin and cut the Isles lead to one. The Kings continued to push the Islanders back on their heels and at 12:15 Tanner Pearson tied the game. Pearson's shot snuck through Poulin's five-hole and just crossed the line.The dagger came with 1:27 left in the game, just after the Islanders had two scoring chances on the other end of the ice. A shot from the point by Jake Muzzin was redirected by Toffoli past Poulin."I think it just comes down to we didn't do the things we were doing in the first two periods," Ness said about the Isles third period letdown. "We weren't getting pucks deep again and ?a couple turnovers here and there. And just not getting on their D fast enough. They have high firepower there and it can give up a two goal lead in a hurry."And that it did.The Islanders only registered three shots in the final 20 minutes of Thursday's game and spent most of it in their own zone. In comparison, New York outshot the Kings 15-5 in the previous period. To make matters worse, a power play that carried over from the previous period looked flat and did not generate any momentum for the home squad."We just didn't play sixty minutes, that's all," said Kevin Poulin, who made 21 saves in the loss. "We played the two first periods and and we came out flat in the third."Squandered third period leads have become something that is all too familiar for this Islanders team. On Tuesday night the Islanders, had a less than stellar third when they defeated the Nashville Predators, but tonight the flat play came back to bite them.The Detroit Red Wings are next on deck for the Islanders and if they hope to beat their new Eastern Conference foe, a flat third period is one thing they cannot afford.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Christian Arnold

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The jury is still out on whether or not Kevin Poulin should be the Islanders' full time starter, but tonight he certainly made a case for getting more playing time in the near future. Poulin stopped 32 of 33 Predators shots, upping his save percentage on the year (warning: small sample size) to .920. His numbers are even better over the last four games, but condensing an already small sample size isn't exactly fair.

Poulin didn't have a lot of work in the first period, as Nashville managed 10 shots on goal in only 12 shot attempts. But down the stretch, especially when the Preds came out of the gate strong in the third period, he was up to the task. The lone Nashville goal came with about 6 minutes to go in the game, as Patric Hornqvist put one through his five-hole. At that point, the two goal lead was still enough to stand.?

Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Kevin Schultz
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Tonight in Columbus the Islanders dropped their third game in a row on the road, snapping the Blue Jackets' five-game losing streak. It was a concerning night for a lot of reasons; Thomas Vanek went down with an injury early on, the defense had some issues again, the goaltender didn't bail anyone out and overall the team's effort -- er, battle level -- was highly questionable.?

Not a whole lot went right, save for the two bounces that went the Islanders way. Frans Nielsen's first period goal took a deflection before getting past Sergei Bobrovsky and Thomas Hickey's second period goal found Ryan Johansen's stick before it did the back of the net. In both those instances, the Islanders battled back from one-goal deficits to tie the game. Unfortunately, they came out flatter than flat to start the third period and surrendered two quick goals that pretty much sealed the deal.?

Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz
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Tonight in Ottawa the Islanders played exactly how, generally speaking, you might expect them to. The offense?was in mid-season form with five goals, multiple breakaways, a staggering 57 shots on goal and 90 (!) shot attempts. On defense, there were some mistakes and lapses interspersed with goal-creating jumps into the offensive zone and some soft goals let in by the starting netminder.

Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Kevin Schultz
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Thus far, the Islanders have been consistently inconsistent. A night after a good performance in Pittsburgh, they follow it up with a clunker at home against a team that had managed only 13 goals through their first nine games (the MSG broadcast noted that's the worst offensive start to a season since the pre-Orr Bruins).It started off with a healthy dose of bad luck as the Flyers scored on their first shot of the game, after the Islanders got a bit of pressure early on. Vinny Lecavalier, who would have a hat trick in this one, got his first of three goals on the power play. Kevin Poulin had a clear view of the shot from the circle but Travis Hamonic deflected it, handcuffing Poulin and lifting the puck over his glove.Philly would score again on their second shot of the game, which was one of a couple goals that were a fire drill in the Islanders zone, with blue jerseys scrambling left and right. Jakub Voracek traffic coned Matt Carkner and it's hard to say if Poulin had a good chance at it, as he was interefered with by Frans Nielsen, who had been shoved into the crease by Scott Hartnell.Just like that it was a 0-2 hole and the Islanders never recovered.The defensive pairing of Matt Carkner and Matt Donovan had a rough go of it. Donovan was on the ice for all three Lecavalier goals, and Carkner was on for two (although NHL.com says otherwise but it's obvious from the highlights). The Islanders have a rookie paired with the guy who was the team's #7 out of training camp, and it is now clear that putting together arguably the worst and most inexperience defenders is a disaster. Whether that means breaking up Hamonic/MacDonald or something else, it has clearly got to change before Tuesday night. Donovan has had a rough week but it might be good to give the kid a steady partner that can help hide the miscues of a young player.After the Flyers went up 2-0, Eric Boulton went out and fought. That was your reminder that he was in the lineup, playing a grand total of 6:23 on the night, which is only a minute more than he spent in the sin bin after tussling with Jay Rosehill. This begs the question as to why the Islanders even have him on the roster. They're basically playing with 11 forwards with Boulton in the lineup, as Boulton didn't get regular shifts in the final two periods. I'm not necessarily anti-fighting or anti-Boulton, I'm pro smart lineup decisions. It makes no sense to play Boulton in a lineup that also features Matt Martin and Carkner, two guys that fight when they need to and Cal Clutterbuck, a guy who doesn't fight a lot but throws the body like it's his job (oh wait, it is his job). And that's all forgetting about the fact that Boulton is taking a lineup spot away from Brock Nelson, who apparently needs to play so much that he was shuttled to Bridgeport over the weekend to get in a game.So anyway, Boulton went and fought and that inspired the Islanders or whatever -- because I guess the first line can't score unless someone fights -- so Kyle Okposo fired a slapper from the blueline past Steve Mason four minutes later. For Okposo, it's his fourth of the season that matches his total from all of last year. But towards the end of the period Lecavalier would score his second of the game, as this time both Carkner and Donovan got traffic coned when Lecavalier and linemate Michael Raffl criss-crossed in the offensive zone.Poulin looked alright in the second period as he seemed to settle down and stopped all 12 shots that he faced. But the concerning part was that for a team that was down 3-1 on its home ice to the Flyers, who the standings said were awful, managed only five shots on goal in the period. Here's one better; the Islanders only managed 10 shot attempts in the middle frame.But credit where it's due, the Islanders did manage this beautiful shorthanded goal in the second period:The Islanders came out of the gate with good pressure in the third but they couldn't manage a goal. Lecavalier completed the hat trick about halfway through on another fire drill for the Isles. Thomas Hickey got the puck stolen by two Flyers trying to hold it in at the blueline and then was shoved away by a streaking Lecavalier. After the puck bounced around and bodies flew everywhere, a diving effort from Lecavalier put the puck in the net. There was one final chance, a power play with four minutes to go. There were a lot of chances on that man advantage too, including Kyle Okposo ringing one off the post that didn't get the kind redirect. But the comeback wasn't to be and the Flyers iced it with an empty netter later on to make it 5-2. Next up for the Islanders is a home date against the Rangers on Tuesday night.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Kevin Schultz
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Two different leads and a late game push wasn't enough for the Islanders to leave Nassau Coliseum with a win on Tuesday night. Instead they fell 5-4 to the Vancouver Canucks in overtime.Frans Nielsen tied the game up with 1:12 to play in the third period, but the Canucks came away with the win after a shot by Brad Richardson deflected off an Islander player's stick and into the net in overtime.It was the culmination of a wacky game that saw the Islanders take and lose two separate leads, before eventually falling behind after Long Island Native Christopher Higgins scored in the closing seconds of the second period. Higgins put an easy rebound past Islander starter Evgeni Nabokov, who could not slide over to make the save."Just shot ourself in the foot times there," John Tavares said after the game. "We kept letting them get back in it and take the lead right before the third. I thought we did a lot of good things in the first two periods and then mental lapses. It was in the back of our net."The Islanders did start the game off well. Brock Nelson scored his first career NHL goal 2:26 into the game. Peter Regin was able to wrap around the net and slid the puck to Nelson, who was sitting in front.Nelson called the goal "exciting," but he was subdued in his response since his team did not come away with the win. "It would be a lot better if it came with a win," he said.Two minutes after the goal, Matt Moulson scored his first goal of the game on the power play to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead.Things quickly soured though as the Canucks cut the lead back to one 16 seconds later and Daniel Sedin tied the game at 9:09.Special teams, and Matt Moulson, came through again in the second period putting the Islanders back in front with a quick shot to make it 3-2. Henrik Sedin put his name on the score sheet at 12:39 to tie the game and Higgins put the Canucks in front with 17 seconds left in the period.Though the Islanders were trailing after two periods, they were still playing a competitive edge during that span giving the Canucks trouble. In the third, up until the final moments of the period, the Islanders played at a pace that was not as energetic or desperate as one might imagine."I think it was a little bit of them, a little bit of use," Matt Martin said, when asked about the third period performance. "We obviously didn't do what we needed to do to get some momentum and be successful. At the same time they tightened up defensively and kind of kept everything at the outside."The Islanders found a way to get one point in the loss, but the fact they are still struggling with holding onto leads is something that needs to be corrected."I think sometimes when we get a lead we stop playing the way we were playing to get that lead," Martin said. "Sometimes we sit back a bit and start thinking you have to protect it, when we're at our best when we're moving forward... I think that's something we have to look at and that's something we did in the second half of last season that we were pretty good at."Like I said it's early, we learn from it and move forward."
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, brock nelson, Game Recaps, Islanders, john tavares, matt martin, Christian Arnold

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It was too little too late for the Islanders tonight at the Coliseum. They got two late goals to claw back to within one. First it was Frans Nielsen finding a loose puck and roofing a clear shot from the slot with the man advantage with about seven minutes to go. Then, with three minutes to go a poorly timed delay of game penalty from Carolina's Justin Faulk gave the Islanders a 6-on-4 for two minutes. They wouldn't score on the man advantage but seconds after it expired Kyle Okposo also found himself with a clear shot from the slot, which he buried for his third of the year (note: he had only four all last season).

The Islanders did have a 6-on-5 with a minute to go to try and force overtime. Inexplicably for Carolina, ?Okposo was sprung for a clear shot with about half a minute to go, but nothing came of it and the Islanders were unable to find the tying marker late.

Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, lubomir visnosky, Kevin Schultz
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[sny-box]The BEST and WORST of Saturday night...WORST: Isles played only 10-20 minutes tonight. A big push late in the second to take a 2-1 lead, but that was about it. For the second straight night, the effort wasn't there...WORST: Given a 4-minute power play in the third and down a goal, the Isles couldn't do anything to tie it up...WORST: Take zero of a possible two points from a Predators team that has struggled so far this season and wasn't overly impressive tonight...WORST: Shot attempts were 54-33 Nashville. Only 14 shots on goal for the Islanders tonight...BEST: Well, at least John Tavares scored.[/sny-box]

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For the second night in a row, the Islanders lost 3-2 on the road in regulation and for the second night in a row, the score wasn't really that close. "I really can't beat this level of Candy Crush?"Most of the game was the Preds attacking, the Islanders clearing the zone and then not establishing anything before Nashville started their next attack. Bad neutral zone play, dump ins to nowhere, that's what a lot of this was.The first period was a snoozefest for both teams, with literally nothing really happening. They did manage to combine for 12 shots on goal, and Evgeni Nabokov made a big save on Craig Smith at some point, but you could have picked this one up at the start of the second and not missed a thing.Both teams finally got going in the second period and the Predators would strike first. Fourth overall pick Seth Jones fired a slapper past Nabokov on the power play. Jones had all day to setup from the face off circle and launched a rocket at the Islanders netminder. Travis Hamonic had also broken his stick on the play and successfully grabbed another one from Matt Martin, but Nashville cashed in on what was essentially a 5-on-3, thanks to the busted twig.In the middle of the second the Islanders would finally turn up their game. Frans Nielsen cashed in a slick Kyle Okposo pass with a nice shot from the slot. Less than three minutes later the Islanders would take the lead 2-1, as John Tavares banked the puck off goaltender Pekka Rinne's butt.Towards the end of the second, Nashville tied up the game at two on a softie from Nabokov. Patrick Hornqvist broke in off the left hand side and fired a shot that beat Nabokov, and left him looking for it as it went past him. After two, the Predators led 19-11 in shots.The third wasn't quite as exciting as the second, which had been fast-paced and back and forth for the most part. Three minutes in the Preds took a 3-2 lead after Ryan Ellis let go a monster slapper from just inside the Islanders zone. It's one of those goals where you could argue Nabokov should have had it because it came from so far out in the zone. At the same time, you could make a case that the puck was a shark with a friggin' laser beam dead set on scoring that Nabokov could only hope to stop.At that point, the Islanders were in a third period hole, however they were given a gift of a chance to get out of it.Thirty seconds after the goal, Matt Hendricks took a double-minor for high sticking when he caught Thomas Hickey and made him bleed his own blood. With four minutes of power play time, the Islanders were able to put together... not a whole lot.Here's something crazy;?the Isles power play unit had 3 SOG tonight. That same unit also blocked 3 shots. So that's about how that went.And that was really about it. The Islanders generated only four shot attempts -- ATTEMPTS, MIND YOU -- in the final ten minutes of the third period.[sny-box]Next up for the Islanders is a four-game homestand at the Coliseum starting on Tuesday against the Sabres (7pm). Buffalo is 0-5-1 and has only scored six goals so far this year. [/sny-box]
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

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UNIONDALE, N.Y -- The Islanders came away with a point in their home opener, but a blown 2-0 lead in the third and a shootout loss soured the mood at Nassau Coliseum.Two unanswered goals midway through the third forced the game into overtime, and eventually the shootout, for the second night in a row. ?The Isles watched as Cam Atkins buried the game winner in the fourth round of the shootout.Things started off well for the Islanders. Through the first two periods the Islanders were a step ahead of the visiting Blue Jackets and kept them to 12 shots in the span.The Islanders took advantage of a power play opportunity early in the second period. Lubomir Visnovsky buried a shot from the point to give the Isles a 1-0 lead during the man-advantage. Six minutes later John Tavares and Matt Moulson showed off their superior passing ability on the game's second goal. Tavares found Moulson with a great pass to the front of the net, and Moulson put it by Sergei Bobrovsky to put New York ahead by two.In the third things took a familiar turn for the Islanders.Travis Hamonic was sent to the penalty box six minutes into the period and allowed Columbus their first power play of the game. Mark Letestu took advantage of the opportunity and brought the Blue Jackets back within one.Less than five minutes later the Blue Jackets caught a break.?Nick Foligno found a way to get one by Evgeni Nabokov to tie the game at two.Both teams traded chances through the rest of the period and in overtime, with both Nabokov and Bobrovsky making several game-saving stops. In the end wouldn't be enough for the Isles and Atkins eventually scored in the fourth round of the shootout to win the game.A blown third period lead is something that plagued the Islanders a bit last season and their performance in the third was not something they were happy with."We need to be more consistent," Matt Martin said after the game. "We were flat in the first period. Luckily they were more flat than us and second period we came out really strong. All four lines were rolling really well and in the third we came out a little flat again."Martin and Nabokov -- who finished the game with 27 saves -- both cited the early power play goal as the turning point in the game."As soon the team score the goal, and it?s only a one-goal lead, so it?s kind of natural for them to keep coming," Nabokov said. "But overall I thought we responded pretty well. They got a little bit lucky, but they worked hard for that luck. They put the puck in the net. I made the save, but it went in off our guy. It?s hockey. Things are going to happen."Unfortunately for the the Islanders things did happen and it will be something they'll need to correct."It?s just a lesson,"?Martin said. "It?s early in the year we have to take this for what it is and respond on Tuesday against Phoenix."
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Christian Arnold

[sny-box]The BEST and WORST of Friday night...BEST: Michael Grabner was excellent with two goals and an assist and, give or take, four breakaways.BEST: Brock Nelson looked right at home in his NHL regular season debut.WORST: Nelson would take a bad penalty in the third, leading to the Devils tying goal.NEUTRAL: Evgeni Nabokov didn't look great and was especially shaky early on but made some amazing saves in the shootout, including a special one on Patrick Elias.[/sny-box]

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The Islanders had some trouble getting things going at times during tonight's season opener in New Jersey, but Michael Grabner helped bail them out by creating a lot of offense on his own. Grabner factored into all three of the Isles' (non-shootout) goals and had about four breakaways.

The teams would head to overtime locked up at three and went deep into the shootout to get a decision. Marty Brodeur and Evgeni Nabokov, neither of whom looked great for most of the night, suddenly came to form in the extra session and stopped the first 11 shooters they faced. Nabokov made a sprawling save against Patrick Elias in the third round; Nabokov fell for a fake and went down but was actually able to get back up and get his leg out to stop Elias' attempt. Josh Bailey rung one off the post in the fourth round, but it would be Matt Moulson with a quick forehand shot to win it for the Islanders in the sixth round of the skills competition.

The game got off to a fast start with both teams flying out of the gates in the first period. The Devils would cash in first only three minutes in, as Damien Brunner knocked in a goal that Nabokov should have stopped. The puck hit Nabokov in the glove, then hit the post, came back down to the ice, and Brunner found his way around Travis Hamonic to slam it home.

Later in the period Grabner would score his first of the game flying up the ice. It was a nifty give-and-go with Hamonic. After passing it off, Grabner flew up ice as Hamonic hit him in stride. The Devils defense was caught flat-footed and Grabner cashed in.In the second the Isles had a rough period, getting out shot 13-7 and giving up an early goal to the Devils' Michael Ryder. Probably one that Nabokov didn't see, it came through a lot of traffic. But the Islanders had trouble getting much going, especially towards the end of the period as they spent most of the final five minutes hemmed into their own zone. Grabner would notch his second of the game with about six to go, getting the puck under Marty Brodeur, one the Devils goalie should have had back.The Islanders would jump out to a one goal lead in the third, after being lucky to be tied heading into the final frame. Grabner fed Frans Nielsen down low in another give-and-go, and Nielsen potted it between Brodeur's legs. Brodeur was weirdly out of position, as he flailed his stick out to knock the puck away from Nielsen and whiffed completely. It wasn't a great move, and was just kind of a bizarre move from the veteran netminder.In what was a wild back and forth third period, the Devils would get it back and tie it up at 3-3. Brock Nelson, who had played well most of the game, took a very poor hooking penalty on Steve Bernier for his first NHL penalty.The Devils wouldn't score on the ensuing power play, rather they would score just after it expired when Damien Brunner banged home a rebound for his second goal of the game. It was a wild final few minutes, but the teams would head to overtime and then the shootout without a resolution, where Moulson would end it in the sixth round.The Rookies: Matt Donovan finished in the top four on the Islanders blueline in ice time, with Jack Capuano seeming to trust him in big spots including a shift with under two minutes to go in the third period. He also was used on the Islanders' second power play unit. Donovan notched his first career point with a second assist on Nielsen's third period goal.Brock Nelson had a solid night -- save for that costly penalty -- and you can start to get an idea why the team chose him over Ryan Strome for that final forward spot. However he did play very sheltered minutes, with the fewest minutes played on the team (10:41).Top Line: The Islanders first line of Okposo, Moulson and Tavares was relied on heavily throughout the night, with each player recording more than 20 minutes of ice time. They didn't hit score sheet though, and Tavares specifically didn't look his best. However the power play, which is those three plus Visnovsky and Nielsen, looked excellent especially on a man advantage halfway through the third period where they spent a full minute in the Devils zone.[sny-box]Next up for the Islanders is the second half of the back-to-back tomorrow night at the Coliseum. It'll be opening night at the Old Barn against a brand new divisonal rival, the Columbus Blue Jackets (7pm).[/sny-box]
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

Preview -- Box Score -- TOI

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Friday's preseason contest between the Islanders started late and was over by the middle of the second period, though the Predators made it interesting late in the third period. It was a much needed 6-4 win for the Isles and put an end to their scoring drought.The 7 p.m. scheduled start was pushed back to 7:23 due to a mechanical issue with the Predators flight. Nashville didn't arrive at Nassau Coliseum until after 6 p.m. And the Predators played like a team that just arrived at the arena once the game started.John Tavares started off the scoring less than two minutes into the first period. Tavares deflected a shot from Travis Hamonic to put the Isles up 1-0. Nashville answered back at 7:48, with Craig Smith scoring the equalizer.But from there it was all Islanders.Tavares scored his second goal of the night, an easy rebound shot, to make it 2-1. Lubomir Visnovsky made it 3-1 after finishing a well orchestrated tic-tac-toe pass on the power play. Colin McDonald scored at the 4:45 mark of the second period and Matt Donovan deflected a Brock Nelson shot into the net at 12:44 to give the Isles a 5-1 lead.Josh Bailey added another deflection goal midway through the final period to make 6-1. The Predators did score moments later to make it 6-2. Craig Smith scored late in the third period to cut it to a 6-3 New York lead and then Roman Josi scored to cut it to a 6-4 lead.Nabokov held down the fort in the final two minutes of the game and the Isles secured their first preseason victory."It was pretty important,"Matt Donovan said of breaking the scoring drought.?"Obviously we hadn't scored many goals up until tonight. I think it lifted a little pressure off our shoulders knowing we can score six goals a night. It' a good feeling."Prior to tonight the Islanders hadn't registered a goal since the 3:45 mark of their game against New Jersey back on September 19. Tonight the Isles put up six goals, with five different players getting on the score sheet."I think we did a good job of getting pucks to the net and guys, and bodies, in front of the goalie," Brock Neslon said after the game. "I think that's something we stressed and we were able to do a much better job of that tonight. It paid off."The Islanders wrap up the preseason with a split squad game on Sunday against the Ottawa Senators. One group will play the Sens in Ottawa, the other will battle them in Barrie, Ontario.Notes:?Travis Hamonic and Matt Moulson both recorded three assists in the 6-4 win over Nashville.?...?Kyle Okposo, who was listed as day-to-day with an eye injury, was cleared to practice Friday and is expected to play in the preseason finale on Sunday. ... Announced attendance for Friday's game was 9,314. Among those in attendance was Slovakian Presidant?Ivan Ga?parovi?.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Christian Arnold

Even though no one outside of the arena actually witnessed it or heard it on the airwaves, we can confirm that the Islanders played a hockey game today in Nashville (boxscore here). Well, except it wasn't really the Islanders. via @phoffmeister18Based on the lineup that skated today it was the Sound Tigers plus Grabner, Bouchard, Regin, Hickey, Martinek and Carkner. It was quite literally an AHL lineup with some veterans tossed in. There's really not a lot to say about a game that:A) no one in New York witnessedB) consisted of the coaching staff getting a longer look at younger playersand C) was probably a good excuse to not make a lot of the players fly halfway across the country for the second half of a preseason back-to-back.If we're going to get into handwringing about not scoring goals, as the Islanders had a grand total of zero in 120 minutes this weekend, it should be about the NHL-level roster that laid an egg in a symbolically important game in front of a packed house in Brooklyn. Not that a bunch of prospects and mid-level NHLers came up empty the next day on the road, or that the "Islanders" got shutout twice this weekend. The Islanders got shutout once and the Sound Tigers got shutout once.This weekend was essentially split-squad games, except they took place over the course of two days.Next up is the lone preseason date at the Coliseum on Friday against these same Predators, if they do in fact exist.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

BROOKLYN -- The Barclays Center impressed in its NHL debut... The Islanders didn't do quite the same in their Brooklyn debut.Corey Schneider and the New Jersey Devils shutout the Isles 3-0 Saturday night in the building New York will soon be calling home. Schneider made 26 saves in the New Jersey win, but the really story of the night was the venue to two teams were playing in.A lot of talk about the seating, sight lines, and the fact fans would have to take the train dominated the conversation leading up to the arena's hockey debut. But when all was said and done, the building passed the test for the most part. An announced crowd of 14,689 was on hand at Barclays and the fans Islanders Point Blank spoke with seemed happy with their future home."For me it was just about getting them to stay in New York. As long as they?re in New York, that?s perfect," said Mike Stasiuk from Hicksville.Stasiuk, unlike many fans that packed the Long Island Rail Road, drove to Barclays Center. Although he has taken the train there before. "I?ve taken the trains here for Nets games, but I don?t mind the commute. ?It?s a lot easier if anything," he said.Despite the outcome, the players also enjoyed their evening in the borough of Kings."The game obviously didn?t go the way we wanted to, but it was fun to play in that atmosphere and play in Brooklyn," Kyle Okposo said after the game. "Unfortunate for us, we didn?t have our best game, but we?re going to have many more in this building and we?re looking forward to it."Matt Martin, who may be the Islander who has visited the Barclays Center the most, found the atmosphere great."The fans were loud...and it?s not something you?re used to in a preseason game," he said. "They definitely helped you get into the game tonight. They were great, we were excited to play here, obviously we wished we put in a better effort."The Islanders did look flat at times during the 20 minute contest, with the Devils controlling the play for chunks of time. And when the team did have scoring chances and created momentum, Schneider was there to keep his team in front.It also didn't help that the ice wasn't as great as it could have been. "The ice was a little rough out there. The puck was bouncing a lot, but that will come with experience for them and the crew," Okposo said.But defenseman Travis Hamonic wasn't using that as an excuse."Was it definitely pretty hot out there? It really was and maybe that effected the ice a little bit," he said. "But they were playing on the same ice as we were, so we?re not going to use that as an excuse."The Islanders will not get much rest, since they are right back in action Sunday for a preseason contest in Nashville.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Arena News, Game Recaps, Islanders, kyle okposo, matt martin, travis hamonic, Christian Arnold

There were fights, there were goals, and there was an Islanders win. The Islanders defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3 at the Prudential Center in the team's second preseason game of the 2013-14 campaign. Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Peter Regin and Eric Boulton all recorded a goal in the Isles win. Bailey netted two, both shorthanded tallies."I though the kids played extremely well tonight," Islander head coach Jack Capuano said after the game. "I couldn?t be more proud of them. I told them before the game, I thought we were a little tight in Calgary and Regina. Just go out their, play poised, play within the team concept and I thought tonight for the most part we did that."New York started off the game quickly, scoring in the first four minutes of the game. Anders Lee registered his first goal of the game on the power play 3:32 into the contest. A little over three minutes later Josh Bailey scored short handed off a feed from Kyle Okposo to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. Rostislav Olesz scored for New Jersey moments after the Bailey goal to cut the Isles lead to one.Late in the first period, with the Islanders once again on the penalty kill, Josh Bailey scored yet another shorthanded goal to give New York the 3-1 lead. And with less than 30 seconds remaining in the opening period, Eric Boulton scored on a breakaway to give the Islanders a 4-1 lead.The Devils would mount a comeback early in the second period, scoring two goals in roughly two minutes, to cut the Islanders lead to just one. Isles starter Kevin Poulin would regain control and turn aside the rest of the shots he faced. He finished the game stopping 20 of the 23 shots he faced."It's been a while since I played a full game. I felt pretty good out there." Poulin said. "Maybe on the first shot I was a little nervous, but you get that first save, that second save and you just build that momentum."Peter Regin scored on a breakaway 3:43 into the third period and put the game away."I thought we played well," Kyle Okposo said. "We have a group of young players and they came in here and did their job."The preseason match up was a physical one that saw five fights take place, three of which featured Brett Gallant and Krystofer Barch."No team is going to take liberties on us," Capuano said. "I think the guys really played hard for one another. It?s part of the game with the fisticuffs, but for us it was a good feeling in the room in between periods. A good attitude amongst the guys and like I said they worked hard."The Islanders practice Friday at Nassau Coliseum before their next exhibition game on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Game Recaps, Islanders, Christian Arnold