03 December 2011
The Islanders went up against one the NHL’s elite teams and came away with a point in the standings. The 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks was a testament of how offensively gifted the Islanders can be, but in the end it was the shootout goal of Jonathan Toews that sunk the Isles chances of a victory.
The islanders opened the scoring at the 4:07 mark of the first period when Kyle Okposo scored on a rebound off a Travis Hamonic Shot. Carl Crawford made the initial save, but was caught out of position and Okposo put the rebound into the net. The goal was Okposo third goal of the year. The Blackhawks responded six minutes later and tied the game at one. Andrew Brunette finished, what was an impressivem tic-tac-toe play with Dan Carillo and Sean O’Donnell. The Islanders regained the lead off a Matt Moulson goal from the top of the left hand faceoff circle.
The two teams would continue the back and forth effort in the second period. Ben Smith scored six minutes in for the Blackhawks to tie the game back up. Jonathan Toews would give the Blackhawks their first lead with under five minutes left in the second period. The Islanders were on the power play when Milan Jurcina coughed up the puck in the Islanders zone. Toews went to the net and beat Al Montoya, who was seemingly caught off guard by the turn of events.The Islanders were still on the power play early in the third. Less than one minute into the period PA Parenteau capitalized on the power play and tied the game for the third time. Patrick Sharp would give the Blackhawks the lead back several moments later to make it 4-3. Nino Niederreiter scored his first goal of the year and tied the game once again at the 8:55 mark.
The overtime period produced no results and the game ended with the Blackhawks winning in the shootout. It was the lone shootout goal by Jonathan Toews that sunk the Islanders ship.
The Islanders outshot the Blackhawks 41-36 and Al Montoya mad 32 saves in his return to his hometown. The shootout loss puts the Islanders at 7-11-5 on the season and seven points out of eight place in the eastern conference.
- Although the Islanders lost in the shootout a lot can be said for the team’s offensive ability. It wasn’t one or two guys who showed up, it was everyone on the team. To see Kyle Okposo notch another goal was a good step and something the Islanders will need to see more of for them to continue to turn things around.
- The Islanders have not been a highly offensive team this season, struggling to get shots on net and, more importantly, put the puck into the net. Last night fans saw two things that have not happened that often this season, the Islanders put 41 shots on net and scored four goals in the course of the game. If they can play the way they played in Chicago more consistently then the Islander will win a lot more games and close the seven point gap between them and a playoff spot.
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