The Islanders didn’t get the start they were looking for in their current 4 game road trip, as they lost their first game 5-2 against the Ottawa Senators. The road only gets harder for the Isles as they must now head to Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston, and can’t truly afford to get another regulation loss if they are to count this road trip a success.
The game started out on a good note as not even a minute in, a bad pinch by Erik Karlsson, led to the Islanders getting a 2-on-1 rush and finished with John Tavares going five hole on, Senator goaltender, Robin Lehner to give the Islanders an early 1-0 lead. The Islanders would continue their pressure throughout the first, but just failed to get anything else past Lehner, and as is so often the case in hockey, the lack of ability to finish off their opponent only ended up giving the Senators life in the second period.
Fast forward a couple of penalties and the Senators come out of the second period with a 2-1 lead, off goals by Milan Michalek, a result of a stupid penalty in the faceoff circle by recent call-up David Ullstrom, and Jason Spezza, who was given way too much space by Milan Jurcina and took advantage of it by firing a bullet past Nabokov.
Although down by one, the Islanders entered the third period with belief that they could come back… cue Mike Mottau. Coming from behind the net, the returnee made a blind pass to Nielsen, which very quickly turned into a turnover right on O’Brien’s stick in the slot and right past Nabokov.
However, the Islanders simply refused to go down without a fight, and a little bit under five minutes later a great keep in by Andrew MacDonald turned into PA Parenteau carrying the puck down the slot and putting it past Lehner to keep the Islanders in the game.
The Islanders continued to battle and battle, but tonight just wasn’t their night. Two scoring chances, one after another, turned into an Ottawa goal as Mark Streit broke his stick on a shot and was caught helpless on an Ottawa rush going the other way. Chris Neil deflected a puck midair and past Nabokov and basically ending the game. Kyle Turris would bury an empty netter, and close the game at 5-2.
While in the middle of a playoff race, the Islanders simply can’t afford to lose games that they should have in the bag after the first period. They can’t afford to not bury scoring chance after scoring chance, and keep teams around, simply because it will come back to haunt you as it did tonight. The Islanders need to fix their penalty kill, which has been a huge problem the past 2 games, as they allowed 4 PPG. Capuano mentioned the issue in his post game interview, “That’s an issue right now. It’s something that we really have to take a look at. We aren’t the highest scoring team in the league so our PK has to be good.”
Defenseman Travis Hamonic, who had 2 assists on the night, said the game was lost after Ottawa cashed in on their two power plays during the second period. “It’s frustrating trying to play catch up in the rest of the game,” Hamonic said. “When you have to play catch up like that, it’s unfortunate.”
The Islanders head to Washington on Tuesday night next, and can hardly afford another regulation loss to another team in the playoff hunt with them.no comments
UPDATE: Islanders have also sent down goaltender Kevin Poulin, recall forward Casey Cizikas, and activate Travis Hamonic off IR. Hamonic and Nabokov are both expected to play against the Rangers tomorrow.
With the intention of sending forward Tim Wallace back to Bridgeport, the New York Islanders placed him on waivers and ended up having him picked up by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 27 year old was signed by the Islanders during the off-season, and although productive in the AHL, never really got going during his days with the big club. His only point came during his first game, and his game has been on a decline since.
Through 31 games played, Wallace has only one point, a -7 rating, and only 16 shots on goal. Statistics showing that he's clearly been far from the player the Islanders were hoping him to be when they called him up in early December.
Wallace has been the healthy scratch at the last few Islander games, and has rarely played anywhere north of nine minutes, so the sending down was well on its way once Reasoner returned from his injury.
The University of Notre Dame graduate will look to get his career going with the Tampa Bay Lightning, as other past Islanders have done. Islanders like forward Nate Thompson, defensemen, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Eric Brewer, and Bruno Gervais, and lastly goaltender Dwayne Roloson who have found homes in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
The Islanders sent Ty Wishart back down to AHL Bridgeport and put forward Tim Wallace on waivers this afternoon.
The move most likely indicates that Travis Hamonic is ready to return to action in the coming day or so. Newsday reported that he could return to the Islanders roster Friday night against the New York Rangers.
Wallace spent over a week as the healthy scratch and in 31 games played this season only has an assist and is plus -7.
The Wallace move opens up a spot for the Islanders and means a call up is likely coming, The two names that come to mind for a call are fan favorite Michael Haley and David Ullstrom.
Both players have spent time with the Islanders this season. Haley spent seven games with the Islanders and did not register a point, but he brings a certain energy to the team that could be used desperately right now. Haley is a fighter, who loves to stick up for his teammates, hit people and does anything he can to contribute on the ice.
Ullstrom played in 14 games this season with the Islanders and brings a scoring touch to the roster that the Islanders could also use. His speed and strong puck play make him a threat. As does his quick snap shot. Ullstrom scored to two goals and added two assist for four points before he was sidelined with a concussion suffered during the Islanders visit to Winnipeg back on December 20.
The Islanders also named him as their number two prospect of the week. He had a four game point streak (4 goals, 1 assist) snapped on Monday. He has 19 goals in 31 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season.
While the Islanders could use Haley’s tenacious drive on the ice on Friday against the Rangers, Ullstrom is the likely favorite to get the call up by the Islanders should they make one.no comments
The Islanders enter tonight’s game with a lot at stake. They know they need to win or else their season could very well be over.
Some interesting notes heading into tonight’s game
-Jack Capuano will not be behind the bench tonight due to the flu. Instead it will be first year assistant head coach Doug Weight who will serve as the interim head coach for the night.
-Kevin Poulin will be the Islanders starter, even after being pulled 1:35 into the Monday afternoon game.no comments
Mark Eaton has denied an online report that claimed he had asked for a trade. Eaton told Newsday’s Arthur Staple that he had “absolutely not” asked for a trade when questioned about the report.
The report, that appeared in the Toronto Sun and was picked up by The Fourth Period, says that Ottawa Senators broadcaster Denis Potvin was informed that Mark Eaton had asked for a trade from the Islanders.
Potvin also suggested that the Red Wings director of pro scouting Mark Howe and Panthers scout Peter Mahovlich were in attendance at Nassau Coliseum during yesterday’s 6-0 loss to the Senators to look at defensemen Milan Jurcina.no comments
Uniondale, NY -- After being routed 6-0 this afternoon by the Ottawa Senators, the Islanders will look to turn the page tomorrow night in Buffalo.
The Buffalo Sabres will be looking to try and gain ground as they make a push for the playoffs, like the Islanders are. The Sabres are a point behind the Islanders and a win tomorrow night would propel them past the Islanders.
A win this afternoon would have would moved the Islanders just four points out of a playoff spot. Instead, they still sit six points out and have added more pressure on themselves with a loss to the Senators.
After the game today, several Islander players said they cannot get down on themselves and have to move on from the shutout loss.
“You have to shake it off at this point in the season. Forget about it get ready for a big game tomorrow,” Josh Bailey said. “I think we’ll look at some video and talk about it, but you got to move past this as quick as possible.”
Teammate Matt Martin echoed similar sentiments after the game.
“All you can really do is put it behind you,” Martin told reporters. “We got a quick turnaround with games tomorrow against Buffalo. One we need to win now.”
Mark Streit said that the Islanders couldn’t let their heads hang over the loss and they have to turn the page and be ready. Matt Moulson also agree they need to turn the page and learn from today’s loss.
“It’s another big game for us and it’s one that we need,” Moulson said regarding tomorrow’s game. “We cant come out like we did today and we better learn from that quickly.”
The Islanders are 2-1 against the Sabres this season and 1-0 against the Sabres in Buffalo. Though last time the two teams met the Sabres edged out a victory in the shootout.no comments