"I really like the way that he played down low," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. "He's not afraid to use his body, came up with a big block in the third period. We knew he was good defensively, but I just liked the way he held on to the puck... He did a lot of good things offensively, so for me tomorrow night I'll give him so more minutes."
The 27-year-old was obviously excited about his first NHL game and was understandably somewhat nervous.
"Obviously your first game you're pretty pumped up and adrenaline is running," Mouillierat said. "Guess there was probably some nerves there to start the first period, but then after that I think I calmed down and just tried to play my game."
Mouillierat spent the game on a line with Colin McDonald and Matt Martin. The Isles' rookie was on the ice during the Capitals first goal in the closing seconds of the first period.
"I think we did ok after the first period. We let one in there, but I think things calmed down through the second and third. We were alright," Mouillierat said.
The Islanders got another strong performance out of backup net minder Chad Johnson.
Johnson made 25 saves in the Isles' 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. He also finished the game with a .926 save percentage. The backup goalie has struggled in previous starts, but as of late has been resembling the player the Islanders were hoping they signed back in July.
Johnson has appeared more confident and comfortable in net as his starts have become more frequent.
"I think I said early on the more you play the more comfortable you're going to feel," Johnson explained. "The more confident you're going to be, so that comes with playing hockey games. When you're playing some good teams, like Detroit or Tampa, you have to be sharp right off the bat. I had some tough games there and I started well with the five. The middle five weren't so good, but I think my last six or seven were pretty decent.
"Again, it just comes with playing more and being comfortable, and being confident."
The decision to start Johnson was a bit of a surprise move by Capuano, but the effort that the Islanders got out of him was what they needed.
Josh Bailey has put up seven points (four goals. three assists) in his last seven games with the Islanders. The 25-year-old winger has performed well since moving to the Islanders' top line and with Kyle Okposo out of the lineup.
"There have been plenty of guys step up their game in the last while," Bailey said. "That's what good teams do. Every team goes through injuries, especially when you lose one of your best players and leaders. It's a tough pill to swallow, but I think lots of guys have really elevated their game."