sleep 5Around the three-hour mark of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play August: Osage County, the matriarch of the dysfunctional family decides to cut through all the BS. "It's time for some truth-tellin'," she says.

 

Same here at Point Blank. I've always tried to have an open dialogue with our readers, but I feel like it's been a while. The time is now because it's been a few weeks since the end of the season and the rhetoric in the Comments space and in the emails has intensified to the point where I want to address some issues.

 

This is going to be long, long-winded, blunt, defensive and maybe at times offensive to a few of you. Just putting it all out there, folks. I will cover a whole range of topics, so pull up a chair and bear with me. Thanks.

 

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sleep 5Sponsors: You may see some ads on the site over the next few days. Our hope is to prove the value of the blog to potential sponsors. I would be indebted if you would please click on these ads from every computer you have access to, patronize the sponsors and spread the word. It could go a long way in keeping us running longer.

 

Support Drive: There's a likelihood that if the blog continues into next hockey season, I will run a support drive in the form of a deal on tickets to one or two Islanders games during the season. Consider it (hopefully) one giant Point Blank group sales night. Perhaps it's an opportunity for many of you to meet up at a game. I understand some readers may be season ticketholders and many are not from New York, but I certainly would appreciate the support of anyone in position to get involved.

 

PB Night III: If we're back for another season, it's a lock that the next Point Blank Night will be at R.C. Dugan's on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow. Thank you, Jay, for your dedication to the cause.

 

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"Conflicts": I realize some of you missed this when I wrote about it in the early days of the blog, or did not see when I spoke about it with C.J. Papa on the Islanders telecast. So that there's no misunderstanding, let me make a few things perfectly clear.

 

The idea for Point Blank came from Islanders President Chris Dey about a month or so after I left the organization last May 5. The team and the sport was in need of more coverage. Fans hungered for non-stop reporting on the Islanders and Dey wanted to deliver it to them. I was available! It was Dey who understood that it would only work if the blog was run independently of the team. For the record, Dey has stood by his end of the bargain, and I applaud him and am thankful to him for it.

 

The New York Islanders are the primary sponsor of Point Blank. Newsday refers to PB as the "team-sponsored blog" - as opposed to the Rangers-sponsored newspaper - and I've never hid from that.

 

Some facts: the Islanders have never asked me to write a story or not write a story. The first time Islanders management sees a post is the same as you: when it's published on the site. I've never been asked to take down a reader Comment about members of the organization, and there have been plenty of vicious ones.

 

sleep 5In 2009, more than three-quarters of sports journalism is touched by some conflict of interest. Leagues are in bed with networks. Writers from major magazines and newspapers serve as paid talking heads on league-owned networks. Two of New York's top sports radio voices receive checks from the companies that own major league sports teams. Sportswriters have publishing deals with the coaches and athletes they are supposed to cover.

 

Long Island's newspaper is owned by the company that owns the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden and MSG Network. Neil Best, one of the finest media columnists in the U.S. and a man of impeccable honor, covers one of the major holdings of his boss. So do the Newsday writers on the Knicks and Rangers. Wally Matthews blistered Charles Wang last summer, has plenty of tough opinions on the Steinbrenners and at times has been vicious toward Jeff Wilpon. As for the Dolans, Wally doesn't seem to have much to say.

 

I stand by the facts I've written, and the opinions that have come from the heart and the mind.

 

Town of Hempstead: Before I ever wrote my first critical word of Kate Murray's handling of the Lighthouse Project, I called Town spokesman Mike Deery three times and left him three voicemails. I attempted to start a professional relationship, but the Town did not have the time nor the interest for this blogger and resident. I don't expect them to ever want to deal with me now. Should the Town of Hempstead ever make its first right move - like maybe Murray showing up at a meeting - I'll be the first to praise it.

 

For now, that Islanders Fan First website and mailer fiasco - the project they aborted after three days - remains the Town's signature moment. To those of you who believe I just get my kicks bashing the Republican side of this issue, you don't know anything about me or my other projects. By writing the facts, and writing what I feel, in this brutal economy I'm potentially costing myself income from some of the PR consultant jobs I've been up for. That's about as far as I can take it.

 

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My Background: Other than knowing I worked for the team for a while, understandably most of you don't know my background and how it relates to the blog. So here's a bit about my career in the game.

 

sleep 5In my senior year in college, I worked full-time for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1986-87 season, the year they went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Along the way, the Flyers defeated the Rangers, Islanders (right after the Easter Epic) and Montreal before Wayne Gretzky took over in the final period of the deciding game in the Final. I did not get a Cup ring, but I made countless friends and contacts with the Flyers and around the league, most of them still in the business.

 

Six months later, I was hired by the Islanders to edit a monthly newspaper, Islander News. Among those on my first Islanders team: Trottier, Bossy, Denis Potvin, LaFontaine, Brent Sutter, Morrow, Flatley, Billy Smith and Kelly Hrudey. Along the way, I managed the team's publications, sold group tickets and even served as radio color commentator for a year and a half after Bob Nystrom left the job (yup, it was a major step down in the booth, but I tried). I went into PR fulltime in the mid-90s, was named VP in 1999 and stayed in that position for 9 years.

 

sleep 5So many of the players and coaches on those early Islanders teams are spread out around the league as scouts, coaches and broadcasters and remain good friends and invaluable contacts. On the 1992-93 team alone, former players are now near the top of directories with NHL teams and the Players Association. My favorite time was working for Al Arbour and the '92-93 team, the second was the mini-revival in 2001-02 under Peter Laviolette and watching the Coliseum come alive again.

 

For more than a decade, I managed a press box that hosted scouts from every team in the league and elsewhere. Most of those relationships are still in place today. Naturally, I'm still in contact with many of my former colleagues in the Islanders front office.

 

So when I rank prospects, I may not always be bang-on, but understand I'm not throwing paper darts into the wind. When I write that the majority of scouts I've spoken with say Drew Doughty will have a better NHL career than Victor Hedman, it could ultimately be wrong, but I'm not listening to the voices inside my head. I'm a reporter who listens to dozens of men who do this for a living. Turns out the amateur scouts on the Point Blank speed dial knew almost all season Matt Duchene was 2 or 3, even when The Hockey News had him at 6.

 

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Blog Stats: With each month, the Page Views and Visits for Point Blank grew in leaps and bounds, peaking (of course) in March with Gueringate. The drama got so big, the numbers on Sunday - when everyone thought Bill was going to be traded - actually were better than the day of the Trade Deadline.

 

The really good news is that the stats in April barely dropped off. Lottery day was a good one, but it was so gratifying to see all the new readers we picked up in March seem to be sticking around.

 

When you consider the Islanders did not play an important game for the purposes of playoff contention since the holidays, the numbers have been remarkable. The credit goes to you for your dedication to this team and for spreading the word about the blog.

 

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Comments: One of the reasons why the Page Views of Point Blank have grown beyond my expectations is because of your efforts in the Comments space. I spoke with a top guy at NHL Security the other day who told me he is as interested in reading all the Comments as my blog entries. I wasn't offended. That's the way it should be on a good blog.

 

If many of you believe I'm a nut about moderating the Comments space, I take the hit but also have no regrets. We have all seen how the blogs of many talented writers have been almost destroyed by the nonsense that goes on in the Comments. I refuse to let that happen. For everyone I've ticked off, I still believe the Comment Guidelines are a vital reason why the site tends to get at least 100 legitimate, passionate, insightful Comments (and often a lot more) after each story. I want as many readers as possible to feel like they can share their opinions.

 

On criticism of my work, I have no problem when a reader disagrees with me, tears me apart or even plays the ever-popular shill card. (The son of a friend of mine posted from his college dorm a while ago that I was still Garth's boy). I love that stuff.

 

To be candid, the only ones I find personally annoying are the ones that say something like, "I don't care about this subject" or "Don't you have anything better to write about"? One of my favorites was when I broke the news the Islanders had signed third round pick Mark Katic and a regular reader of an Islanders blog said he didn't care and it was just "fodder."

 

If you are the kind of person who actually takes the time to post on an Islanders blog that you don't care about stories on Mike Bossy, Kirill Petrov, Denis Potvin, the Lighthouse - after all, it only determines the team's future - prospects and small anecdotes from behind-the-scenes, I encourage you to go somewhere else for your daily Islanders reading.

 

Now that we've been at this seven months and I have regularly asked readers to review the Comment Guidelines, I'm done with warnings. If you go off-topic, write not a comment but a full-blown blog entry, post more than 3 per thread, are profane, call your fellow readers "idiots" and "morons" and the ever-popular "___ clowns" or give me other reasons to be cautious, your Comment posts are going to moderation. If you'd like to address this issue, please send me an email so we can work it out one-on-one.

 

Effective today, while some readers may have their Comments go to moderation, no one is on permanent block any longer.

 

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sleep 5The Year in Review: After working for the team for so long, I was more comfortable transitioning to the media side than I expected. It probably helped that there was a new head coach and some key players (including Doug Weight) that I had never worked with.

 

Scott Gordon and I didn't have much to do with each other for about two months mid-season. He didn't like some stuff I wrote. I didn't like the way he handled it, so I passed on many of his media scrums because he wasn't saying much. In the final 4-6 weeks of the season, the working relationship improved. I stubbornly believe Scott has a few things he needs to work on. He stubbornly thinks I'm wrong and everything is okay. Scott works his tail off, is extremely bright and is a very talented coach. Time will tell how it works out.

 

Garth Snow was irritated with me for a few weeks, primarily because I wrote my 8-year old twins did a better job of staying on the same page as the Islanders were on the Rick DiPietro injury stuff. The Islanders stood by their version of the story. Over time, we moved on. As I wrote when I was in timeout, I do not need complete access to write the blog. When you shut out the media, it usually hurts the team more - especially when that team does not boast bountiful coverage. Felt the same way when I was the PR director.

 

I especially want to mention youngsters Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo for their professionalism during a difficult season. Think about Bailey. He knew about the immediate fan and press reaction when the team went from 5 to 7 to 9 and drafted him. I wrote that he should go to juniors, and then to the World Junior Championships. Yet through it all, he answered the questions and handled himself like a 15-year pro. My experience tells me that's a good sign.

 

All of the veterans were very good with the press, most notably for me Weight, Brendan Witt and Richard Park. The team's PR staff - Seth Sylvan, Corey Witt and young Josh Bernstein - are good men and made me feel comfortable in my new gig. I thank them for that.

 

Other than a few hours one Sunday early on when we battled over the "team-sponsored" thing, Greg Logan and I got along really well. He is a friend, and I have learned a lot from him. The days when Dan Martin of the Post and Peter Botte of the Daily News attend practice are always good days.

 

I also want to thank the MSG Network crew for putting me on the pre-game show and Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe for mentioning Point Blank more than a few times. Same to Steve Mears and Chris King for their support on the radio side and their assistance. Thank you to Lisa and the moderators at Islandermania for always linking to my stories. That's a huge help, and especially was early on when the blog was trying to get off the ground. Thank you to Roseanne and the crew at Gabrielle's for their amazing generosity as our unofficial watering hole.

 

In the world outside the Islanders, thank you to Don La Greca for guiding this novice on ESPN Radio. Thank you to Hofstra University for the opportunity to see if I can teach. Thank you to Stan Bratskeir for his PR guru-ness.

 

Thank you to Kevin Schultz of Barry Melrose Rocks for getting behind the Gran Torino when I had to step away. Thank you to B.D. Gallof for his help in the early days and best of luck with his new venture. Whatever happened in between, I wish him well in doing his best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

 

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Future: As of this date, there's a commitment to write this blog until the NHL Draft in late June. After that, I do not have any guarantees. It is my sincere wish to run Point Blank for at least another year and hopefully a lot more beyond that. I hope to know in the next few weeks if I'll be around past June. For now, please click the heck out of any sponsor ads you may see.

 

One thing is certain: the only way I will ever do this blog is if I'm provided the opportunity to cover the Islanders 24/7/365. From time to time readers suggest that if I move into another full-time career that I pop in and write once or twice a week. This franchise has been my life's work and a bit of an obsession now for 21 years. When I worked for the Islanders, I thought about my responsibilities every hour for two decades. It's impossible for me to picture doing this blog half-way. In fact, I'm sure I will never do it that way.

 

One more time, thank you to all of the Point Blank readers for checking out the site, sharing your insight, passing along your knowledge and keeping me in line. Here's hoping we can keep this going for a long time.

 

 

Since I went long, the 100-word limit is waived for this Comments section - as long as you stay on topic!

 

I need to take a personal day, maybe two, so I will miss the U.S.-Russia game on Friday morning. Unless there is any breaking Islanders news, I'll be off the laptop. I'm sure Greg and the Times blog, among other sites, will be on the Worlds.

 

Please feel free to submit any questions you may have related to this post and I will address as many as I can as soon as I return. Thanks...CB

Tags: News

New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Jaroslav Halak allowed the game-winning goal to Danny DeKeyser in overtime after Josh Bailey tied it up late in the third period as the New York Islanders lost to the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, on Sunday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 5:16 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas
  • 12:53 DET Mike Green; Assist: Frans Nielsen

Second period:

Tags: Anders Lee, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Detroit Red Wings, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey
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Thomas Greiss could get the call in goal when the streaking Islanders host the Red Wings Sunday. (Brad Penner)
Thomas Greiss could get the call in goal when the streaking Islanders host the Red Wings Sunday. (Brad Penner)

The Islanders will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season to four games Sunday night when they face Frans Nielsen and the Detroit Red Wings for the first time this season.

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New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Some thoughts from the week that was for the New York Islanders, as they rang up their first three-game winning streak of the season and collected six must have points to remain in the chase for a playoff spot in 2016-17.

  • It wasn't enough to lift them out of the Metropolitan division basement or the bottom of the Eastern conference but the Islanders were impressive in collecting six points this week, two from high quality opponents. That's not to say the Flames are a pushover by any means, but they were exhausted at the end of their six-game road trip and coming off a back to back. The wins over the Penguins and Capitals were exactly what this team needed at this stage to avoid a complete collapse.
  • When you've played as poorly as the Islanders early on, it's never too early to begin looking at playoff standings. As of this morning, New York is five points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning with two games in hand, but still have seven teams to jump. Earlier in the week, sportsclubstats has the Islanders playoff chances at 3.5%. After the week they had, that increased to 12.7%. Still, an uphill battle at the moment.
Read More

 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have been on a search since the summer to bring in a new executive to run the team's hockey operations, reports Newsday's Arthur Staple

According to Staple, the new owners have worked to bring in a "big name" that would either work alongside GM Garth Snow or could make changes to the front office.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders have returned D Scott Mayfield to Bridgeport of the AHL, the team announced Friday.

Mayfield had been called up on an emergency basis on Nov. 14 to replace Dennis Seidenberg, who was activated off IR on Thursday.

Mayfield last played on Nov. 30 against the Penguins, tallying his only two points of the season.

He has appeared in just two games this season.


 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Thursday night's game against Washington had all the makings of a letdown. The Islanders were coming off a hard-fought, last-second win against the Penguins. They had to travel to the nation's capital. Thomas Greiss, who has emerged as the team's number one goaltender, wasn't even dressed.

They had skated hard and played an impressive two periods against the Capitals. But we were all bracing for the inevitable in a scoreless third period, and it came just 37 seconds in: the power play opportunity that would inevitably break New York's back.

After the Isles had killed off their first four chances down a man, two of which came late in the second period, Johnny Boychuk swatted a puck in the air out of play without it touching the glass. The delay of game minor gave Washington another shot on the power play just 29 seconds after Anders Lee's high-sticking penalty had expired, and the Caps were starting to buzz.

Washington hadn't converted on their last eight power plays, and they knew it. They were due, and smelled blood in the water. The way this season had gone, it was only a matter of time before the Capitals set up Alexander Ovechkin for one of his patented blasts from the circle that beat Jaroslav Halak and broke the tie.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Jaroslav Halak, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Brian Erni
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Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save on Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) as Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) defends. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save on Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) as Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) defends. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders broke a scoreless tie with three goals in a 3:28 span of the third period to defeat the Capitals 3-0 Thursday in Washington. The Islanders won three in a row for the first time this season. 

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New York Islanders celebrate the 3-2 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks during at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders celebrate the 3-2 shootout victory against the Anaheim Ducks during at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders (8-10-4) head to Washington D.C. to face off against the Capitals (13-6-2) on Thursday night.

According to STATS:

  • New York lost a 3-0 third-period lead, but came back to score two times in the last 27 seconds of the game to beat the Penguins, 5-3, last night at Barclays Center. The Islanders have now won back-to-back games for just the second time of the season (also October 21-23).
  • Washington dropped a 4-2 decision in Toronto last Saturday night, snapping its two-game win streak in the process. The Caps are 4-1-0 in their last five tilts at Verizon Center, outscoring opponents by a combined 17-8 in those contests.
Tags: Washington Capitals
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New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Islanders defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (4) during the third period against Philadelphia Flyers at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Dennis Seidenberg has been removed from the IR, while Adam Pelech has been placed on the team's IR list, the Islanders announced Thursday evening.

Seidenberg suffered a broken jaw during New York's 3-2 overtime loss to the Panthers on Nov. 12. Prior to the injury, the defenseman had four goals and four assists in 15 games.

Pelech left Monday's game overtime win over the Flames after absorbing a hard hit. The 22-year old has a goal and two assists in nine games this season.

Tags: Alain Quine, Jaroslav Halak
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

WASHINGTON -- The New York Islanders avoided a disastrous defeat Wednesday night and now have a chance to notch their first three-game winning streak of the season.

The Islanders (8-10-4) squandered a 3-0 third-period lead before Anders Lee scored with 26.6 seconds left and Nikolay Kulemin added an empty netter three seconds later to give New York a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After beating the Penguins, who are second in the Metropolitan Division, the last-place Islanders travel to Washington Thursday for their first meeting of the season with the Capitals (13-6-2), who are tied for third.

Tags: Washington Capitals
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The New York Islanders celebrate the game winning goal by New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
The New York Islanders celebrate the game winning goal by New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

Remember, remember the month of November. Although that line is modified from the movie 'V for Vendetta', it very much applies to the New York Islanders, who are all too happy to move past their month of horrors and see the calendar flip to December 1.

Going back to the 2011-12 season, the 11th month of the year was not too kind to head coach Jack Capuano and his squad. New York went 4-7-2 and 4-10-1 in back to back full seasons, putting them firmly behind the proverbial eight ball as the season ticked past the thin red line that separates the playoffs from an early golf outing. Things seemed to improve in 2014-15 with a monster 11-3-0 month before the team tailed off yet again the following season with a mark of 7-6-1.

If you're counting at home, that's 26-26-4 over the past four full seasons heading into 2016-17. With New York just completing their November last night at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game they would will themselves to win 5-3 after surrendering a 3-0 third-period lead, it gave the Islanders a 4-5-4 mark this time around, just 46% of all possible points and only 2 regulation wins in 13 tries.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Johnny Boychuk, Thomas Greiss, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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 (AP)
(AP)

Scott Mayfield had played just once since he was called up earlier this month, but that didn't stop the rookie for contributing in a big way in Wednesday night's win over the Penguins.

Mayfield played 14:22, registered a shot on goal, and tallied his first two NHL assists in the team's 5-3 victory at Barclays Center.

"I thought Scotty Mayfield stepped in and did a really good job," Jack Capuano told reporters after the game.

Mayfield, 24, has now played in 13 career NHL games. He was a second round draft pick by the Islanders in 2011.

Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

If you went to bed after the second period of Wednesday night's game, I wouldn't have blamed you. The Islanders were leading the reigning Stanley Cup champions, 3-0, and the nationally-televised start time of 8:00 had pushed the third period an hour later than usual.

So if you figured the Isles would win -- and even if they didn't, you didn't want to witness blowing a three-goal lead - you are forgiven for hitting the hay.

However, you missed a fireworks factory which included New York blowing that lead, then scoring three seconds apart in the final minute to put the icing on the most feel-good win of the season

Tags: Anders Lee, Johnny Boychuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Thomas Hickey
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Nov 30, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) and New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 30, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan (44) and New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

First Period 

Second Period

Tags: Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) controls the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Eric Fehr (16) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) controls the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Eric Fehr (16) during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders look for their second victory in a row as they take on the rival Penguins at Barclays Center on Wednesday night. 

According to STATS...

  • The Penguins haven't played since Saturday, when they beat the New Jersey Devils, 4-3 in a shootout, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has not had consecutive wins sin November 5 & 8 (at San Jose, vs. Edmonton). In their last three games, the Penguins are 0-for-11 on the power play and have allowed five power-play goals in just nine opponent power-play opportunities.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins
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Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 18, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders are said to have a team value of $385 million, which is good for the 18th spot in the NHL, according to Forbes. 

Forbes calculated the value of the team to have increased 18 percent from last year. 

New team owners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, paid $485 million to become majority owners, replacing Charles Wang, who is now a minority investor in the team. 

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New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) carries the puck past Philadelphia Flyers center Chris VandeVelde (76) during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) carries the puck past Philadelphia Flyers center Chris VandeVelde (76) during the second period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline)

When should Islanders prospects Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang get the call? SNY.tv's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...


Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

With the Isles seven points out of a playoff spot, a lot of fans are clamoring to see the future crop of forwards in Brooklyn. Andy, do you think Michael Dal Colle and/or Josh Ho-Sang should get the call to the big club at some point this season?

Tags: Alain Quine, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) work out prior to game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) work out prior to game two of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Thomas Greiss will start in goal for the Islanders Wednesday against the Penguins, head coach Jack Capuano told reporters Wednesday morning.

J.F. Berube will serve as Greiss' backup.

Ryan Strome is back in the lineup and will take the place of Alan Quine.

Tags: Alain Quine, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss
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New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) battle for a loose puck during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)
New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) battle for a loose puck during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin)

Mathew Barzal has been invited to Canada's World Juniors selection camp in Blainville, Quebec, on Dec. 10-14, according to Jason Brough of NBC Sports.

Barzal was on Canada's National Junior Team for last year's World Juniors, and registered three points on two goals and an assist in Canada's five games before being eliminated by Finland in the quarterfinals. 

Canada will host the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship for the 12th time this year. The tournament will feature 31 games between 10 nations.

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver are back with another depression-filled podcast filled with some of our old favorites: Ryan Strome's benching, late-game losses, and rumors of a change that will never come true. Plus, Arthur Staple of Newsday calls in to the fun for his take on the team, and his thoughts on the likelihood of the Islanders reaching out to former Panthers head coach, Gerard Gallant.

Tags: Ryan Strome
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New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) celebrates his game winning goal against the Calgary Flames with New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the overtime period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) celebrates his game winning goal against the Calgary Flames with New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the overtime period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

To say Thomas Hickey has a knack for the dramatic could be the understatement of the 27-year-old Calgary native's New York Islanders career. Once again, New York was up against the odds, down a defenseman due to a late second period injury to Adam Pelech and forced to play the remainder of the game rotating the five still standing.

Having tied the most minutes he has played over the past six games, 19:48, the diminutive yet tough and rugged Hickey found himself as the lone defenseman in the three on three extra session, on the ice with captain John Tavares and Shane Prince.

However, defense was hardly on his mind as he set up shop to the right of Calgary goaltender Brian Elliott and deflected Tavares' floater from the high slot between the netminder's arm and watched it roll into the cage, giving his team a much needed, if slightly unearned, two points.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Islanders D Ryan Pulock has been activated off IR and sent to Bridgeport of the AHL on loan, the team announced Tuesday.

On Oct. 22, the team said Pulock would miss four-to-six weeks due to a lower-body injury, which Newsday's Arthur Staple later reported was a broken foot. 

Pulock, 22, has played in just one game this season.

Tags: Ryan Pulock
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New York Islanders center John Tavares controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders center John Tavares controls the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Thomas Hickey scored the game-winning goal 1:53 into overtime as the New York Islanders beat the Calgary Flames, 2-1, Monday at Barclays Center. >> Read more


Overtime:

  • 1:53 NYI Thomas Hickey; Assist: John Tavares

What's next:

The Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Tags: Calgary Flames, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates during the third period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy (2) skates during the third period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

The Islanders (6-10-4) will face off against the Flames (10-13-1) at Barclays Center on Monday night at 7 p.m. ET.

According to STATS:

  • The Flames lost, 5-3, in Philadelphia last night, snapping their two-game win streak, and dropping to 3-2-0 on the current road trip. Calgary is 2-2-1 in the second of back-to-back tilts this season.
  • New York dropped a 3-2 decision in San Jose on Friday, losing its second straight game, and for the sixth time in the last seven contests overall (1-4-2 record). The Isles are 3-2-1 when getting two or more days off between tilts this season.
Tags: Calgary Flames, Nick Leddy
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New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto)
New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto)

NEW YORK -- The Calgary Flames are staying afloat during a six-game Eastern Conference road trip. They will try to close the trek out in winning style Monday when they face the skidding New York Islanders at Barclays Center.

Both teams are coming off losses. Calgary fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 Sunday night, while New York dropped a 3-2 decision to the Sharks in San Jose on Friday. The Islanders return home to open a brief two-game homestand.

The Flames already ensured themselves of at least a .500 trip (3-2-0). They enter play Monday two points behind the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars in the race for the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Tags: Calgary Flames
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ryan Strome will be a healthy scratch Monday night when the Islanders play the Flames, head coach Jack Capuano said.

He was also a healthy scratch on Friday night.

Strome, 23, has two goals and four assists in 19 games this season.

Tags: Ryan Strome, Andy Graziano
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Thomas Greiss will be in goal for the Islanders on Monday night when they face the Flames, head coach Jack Capuano said.

Ryan Strome and Scott Mayfield will be healthy scratches.

Tags: Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss
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 (James Guillory)
(James Guillory)

It's hard not to notice that the Islanders are in a jam, and it has put both their head coach and their general manager on the hot seat. But believe it or not, Jack Capuano is not the first head coach to get the axe this season, as the Florida Panthers dismissed former Islanders assistant coach Gerard Gallant late on Sunday night. But Forida's loss could be New York's gain, and the team should pick up the phone, if they haven't already.

Gallant was as an assistant coach for the Islanders from 2007 to 2008 before becoming a special assistant to GM Garth Snow.

"Gerard has been an essential member of our coaching staff," Snow said at the time. "He will serve as a valuable asset within the hockey operations department."

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Nov 5, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 5, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck in the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

With the New York Islanders just finishing the first quarter of their 2016-17 schedule and residing in last place in the National Hockey League standings with a record of 6-10-4, we took to social media to poll a reasonably anxious fan base about who they might want to see in an Islanders sweater should Garth Snow, rumored to be working the phones, swing a deal.

Of course, this exists only on social media, in a perfect world, without giving specifics about what the Islanders might have to send out to make such a player attainable. Being an NHL general manager is certainly not easy, but it's much easier using the "PS4 X button" mentality.

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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders celebrate a scored goal in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders celebrate a scored goal in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to boost their performance, the Islanders have signed on with a Russian analytics group to track statistics and other elements of the team, according to a Bloomberg report

Iceberg, which has already worked with a team in Russia's KHL, is bringing along the Islanders and the Vaxjo Lakers of Sweden to use its data system.

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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) watches the puck in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) watches the puck in the third period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders are off to a brutal start, and that includes Jason Chimera.

Chimera has one goal and five assists and has placed in each of the team's first 20 games. 

Chimera, 37, was signed to a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Islanders on the first day of free agency. 

On Friday against the Sharks, the Islanders scratched Ryan Strome.

Tags: Jason Chimera
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Nov 23, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) celebrates with center Trevor Lewis (22) after scoreing a goal in the third period as New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41), defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) and defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) defend the goal during a NHL hockey game at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Predators 4-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 23, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) celebrates with center Trevor Lewis (22) after scoreing a goal in the third period as New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41), defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) and defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) defend the goal during a NHL hockey game at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Predators 4-2. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

I've never been an alarmist when it comes to hockey. I made a conscious decision to not judge the team or player performance on a game-by-game basis, instead choosing to take the "wait and see" approach until a more complete body of work is available for analysis. Some people will use five games as their measuring stick. Others, ten. In my world, it's always been about quarters. It seems like a fair enough length of time to allow for a body of work before making rash judgments.

The New York Islanders hit that quarter mark yesterday, playing their 20th game in an 82-game season. There have been few positives and an entire laundry list of negatives in 2016-17 to this point for a team supposed to be on the rise. A team expected to be past the follies of the past, coming off two exciting 100-point seasons and their first playoff round win in over 20 years.

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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks celebrate after scoring the winning goal in the last 22 seconds of the third period of the game against New York Islanders at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks celebrate after scoring the winning goal in the last 22 seconds of the third period of the game against New York Islanders at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

It happened. Again. 

On Friday afternoon, the Islanders found a new, agonizing way to give up a decisive goal late, and it may have been the final nail in the coffin of this season.

Tags: John Tavares, San Jose Sharks
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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Alan Quine (10) and San Jose Sharks center Chris Tierney (50) fight for control of the puck in the second period of the game at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Alan Quine (10) and San Jose Sharks center Chris Tierney (50) fight for control of the puck in the second period of the game at SAP Center at San Jose. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

First Period 

Tags: San Jose Sharks
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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Islanders captain John Tavares can be an unrestricted free agent after next season, and Bob McKenzie of TSN and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN recently weighed in on what the future might have in store.

"Right now [the Islanders are] on course to finish at the bottom of the league," McKenzie said. "And I know that John Tavares doesn't feel like he signed up anywhere in the National Hockey League to be on a last place team. It'll be fascinating to see where the Islanders finish this year and how that influences John Tavares in what he does or doesn't do as far as doing an extension. Keeping in mind he's still got a full year before he gets there."

LeBrun noted that Tavares has made it clear he wants to be an Islander for life.

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)
New York Islanders right wing Ryan Strome (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke)

Entering play on Thursday, the Islanders are 6-9-4, with just 16 points. That puts them dead last in the Eastern Conference and ahead of only Arizona in terms of futility in the NHL. With New York seven points out of a playoff spot and seven teams to leap if they're going to qualify for their third consecutive trip to the postseason, the situation looks bleak.

Still, the Islanders are confident they can get their season turned around. So what has to happen for the Isles to resurrect their 2016-17 campaign?

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Calvin De Haan, Casey Cizikas, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Nikolay Kulemin, Ryan Strome, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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Brock Nelson (29) shoots the puck in the first period against the L.A. Kings at Staples Center.  (Kirby Lee - USA Today)
Brock Nelson (29) shoots the puck in the first period against the L.A. Kings at Staples Center. (Kirby Lee - USA Today)

Anders Lee tied the game 1-1 for the Islanders with a goal early in the third period. However, the Kings would shock the Islanders by finding the back of the net three times in under a minute late in the third to pull away in a 4-2 victory.

Tags: Anders Lee
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November 22, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal scored against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
November 22, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates his goal scored against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders look to make it two wins in a row when they take on the Kings in Los Angeles at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. 

According to STATS...

  • New York beat Anaheim, 3-2, in a marathon shootout (14 rounds) last night at Honda Center, snapping its four-game losing streak with the win. The Islanders are 3-3-4 in one-goal games this season.
  • The Kings beat the Ducks, 3-2, at Honda Center on Sunday night, and have now won three straight games while allowing exactly two goals in each victory. Los Angeles is 10-1-0 when netting at least three goals this season (0-8-1 in all other games).
Tags: Los Angeles Kings
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New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) celebrates after scoring a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (not pictured) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders left wing Anthony Beauvillier (72) celebrates after scoring a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (not pictured) during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

LOS ANGELES -- The New York Islanders bring a surprising surge of momentum into a Wednesday game against the red-hot Los Angeles Kings.

New York (6-8-4) broke a four-game losing streak by winning a franchise-record, 14-round shootout and emerging with a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. The road victory was the first of the season for the Islanders, who are 1-4-1 overall away from Barclays Center during an early-season schedule heavily weighted toward home contests.

 

Tags: Los Angeles Kings
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Jaroslav Halak will be in goal for the Islanders on Wednesday night against the Kings, head coach Jack Capuano said.

Cal Clutterbuck will be a game time decision.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak
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Thomas Greiss could get the call in goal when the streaking Islanders host the Red Wings Sunday. (Brad Penner)
Thomas Greiss could get the call in goal when the streaking Islanders host the Red Wings Sunday. (Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

In professional baseball, there are some pitchers who have been known to have 'personal catchers', players who go behind the plate only when said hurler takes the mound. The New York Islanders and head coach Jack Capuano might want to anoint Thomas Greiss as their 'personal goaltender' after he stole a badly needed two points in Anaheim last night, defeating the Ducks in a 14-round shootout, 3-2.

The problems that have plagued New York all season are still present, from bad defensive zone clearances to a poor breakout and neutral zone play, which instead of creating speed and flow into the offensive zone, more often than not forces a dump-in. But there were flashes, even if they were not sustained over 60 minutes, but rather the first 30, of some of the Islanders hockey that made this team very tough to play against over the past two years.

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Nick Leddy, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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 (Watchara Phomicinda)
(Watchara Phomicinda)

The Islanders have expressed interest in trading for Sabres LW Evander Kane, though nothing seems imminent. 

"The New York Islanders came in and starting kicking tires on Evander Kane, but nothing came of that," Bob McKenzie of TSN reported. "Nothing is imminent at this moment, but the Buffalo Sabres will consider it for the right defenseman."

Kane, 25, has zero goals and two assists in eight games this season.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Thomas Hickey, Travis Hamonic, Brian Erni
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 (Jae C. Hong)
(Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Nick Leddy scored the winner in a marathon 14-round shootout, lifting the New York Islanders over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Thomas Greiss made 39 saves and Adam Pelech and Josh Bailey scored in regulation for the Islanders, who had been 0-4-1 on the road this season.

Each team had four goals in the shootout through 13 rounds. After Kevin Bieksa missed on a slap shot to start Round 14, Leddy waited out Jonathan Bernier before snapping in the winner.

Anaheim nearly won in the 12th when officials reviewed a tying goal by New York's Thomas Hickey, but officials determined that Hickey did not interfere with Bernier on his attempt and awarded him the tally. Read more >>

Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Nick Leddy
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders play the Ducks in Anaheim on Tuesday night. According to STATS...

  • The Islanders dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Penguins at Barclays Center on Friday night, losing their season-high fourth straight game. New York has allowed at least three goals on 11 occasions this year, and is 1-7-3 in those contests.
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver have little to be thankful for from the Islanders, as the season looks almost lost before Thanksgiving. They talk about Garth Snow speaking up and giving out votes of confidence, potential trade partners, and the continuing mess with the goaltending.

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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

Thomas Greiss will start for the Islanders on Tuesday against the Ducks, head coach Jack Capuano said.

Alan Quine will take the place of Shane Prince in the lineup.

J.F. Berube will be backing up Greiss in goal. 

Tags: Alain Quine, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Two teams whose seasons are heading in opposite directions will meet Tuesday night when the Anaheim Ducks play the New York Islanders at the Honda Center.

The Ducks share first place in the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Kings and the surprising Edmonton Oilers. The Islanders, meanwhile, own the worst record in the Eastern Conference following a frustrating November. New York has lost four consecutive games this month and seven of eight. Two losses took place during overtime, another two in shootouts.

Scoring has been such a big problem for the Islanders that first-line center John Tavares has seen a constant rotation of different wingers all season. So has left winger Andrew Ladd, who signed a seven-year contract worth $38.5 million as a free agent but has just two goals, one assist and a minus-4 rating after 17 games.

Tags: Anaheim Ducks
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New York Islanders goaltender JF Berube makes a pad save against the New York Rangers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders goaltender JF Berube makes a pad save against the New York Rangers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Lighthouse Hockey has started a movement to have J-F Berube be voted into the game as captain of the Metropolitan Division's All Star team.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Brian Erni
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The Islanders have had trouble early this season findings ways to put the puck in the net -- among other things. So how long until they dip into their talented pool of young forwards at Bridgeport and give first round picks Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang an opportunity?

Dal Colle scored his sixth and seventh goals over the weekend, giving him nine points in 15 games. Ho-Sang, who had a few beautiful set ups, brought his assist total to eight and his point total to 10 in 14 games. Both have proven to be very effective playmakers in Brett Thompson's system, and it stands to reason that these two could give the Isles an offensive boost. One of them may even be the answer to the perpetual opening on John Tavares' wing. So how long will we have to wait?

Tags: John Tavares, Brian Erni
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