16 January 2012
The Islanders avoided the shutout, but were defeated by the Nashville Predators, 3-1, at the Nassau Coliseum. Three goals in the first period sunk the Islanders ship, though Islanders all-star John Tavares was able to extend his point streak to nine games.
The first period was one the Islanders did not look prepared to play. For the ninth time this season they let in a goal on the first shot of the game. Sergei Kostitsyn ripped a shot past the glove of goaltender Kevin Poulin, who was playing in his first game in over a week, to give the Predators an early 1-0 lead. Matt Halischuk scored three minutes later on his teams second shot of the game. A miscommunication between the Islanders allowed Nashville’s third goal of the game at the 11:37 mark. Martin Erat drew Poulin the right side of the net, to compensate for missed defensive coverage, and Erat feed David Legwand who easily put the puck in the net.
The Islanders were outshot in the first period, 12-6, and eventually got better chances later in the period.
Midway through the second period the Islanders had a five on three power play opportunity. They were able to put the pressure on, but Pekka Rinne was able to stand tall and, with the help of his penalty killers, keep the Islanders off the board.
The Islanders would remain without a goal until the 16:02 mark of the period. John Tavares redirect a shot past Rinne to break the shutout, but it would be too little, too late.
In the end it was a sloppy first half to open the game that hurt the Islanders. The team did not look ready to come out and play until after the Predators scored the third goal. Kevin Poulin was clearly still working off some of the rust he had from not playing in over a week. The first goal was one that he’d want to have back. After the first he looked more comfortable and the team overall played well after that first period. They finished the game outshooting Nashville 37-32, but could not find a way to beat one of the top goaltenders in the league.
One of the few good things to come out of the game was that Tavares was able to continue his points streak. He will look to make it a 10 game streak tomorrow night when the Islanders take on the Washington Capitals.
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