Here are some of this morning’s Islander headlines. Also, if you haven't read Islanders Hockey Blog's post game article check it out here. Try to enjoy.
Kovalchuk Scores three to lead Devils Past Islanders - Associated Press
Devils 5, Islanders 1 - New York Islanders
Isles’ Michael Grabner a Healthy Scratch - Newsday
New Jersey Dominates Rematch - Islanders Point Blank
Kovalchuk Records Hat Trick in Devils’ 5-1 Win over Isles - NY Daily newsno comments
In what was forecasted to be the single most important 3 games of the month for this team, the Islanders sure didn’t play like it tonight. After a 1-0 shutout victory on Sunday, and a 4 day break in between, the Islanders were completely uninspiring after getting blown out 5-1 by the New Jersey Devils.
Devils dominated play for the large part of the first, and the Islanders were having trouble getting pucks to the net from the very start, with David Ullstrom providing the only real scoring chances for the majority of the period. New Jersey would however gain the lead midway through the first, as a somewhat fortunous bounce from the boards on a one-timer, led to Ilya Kovalchuk to have his own rebound on his stick with an empty net in front of him. 1-0 New Jersey.
The Devils would add to the lead almost right away in the second, as a penalty by Steve Staios put the Islanders on the penalty kill early, and after a bit of cycling Kovalchuk would fire home his second of the game with yet another one-timer this time from the top of the faceoff circle.
The Islanders would get one back though, as time neared the end of the second period. David Ullstrom, one of only 2 Islander to finish with a +1 in tonight’s game, led a rush down the wing, cut to the middle, and took a shot. Andrew MacDonald, who’d joined the rush, went for the rebound behind the net, and what was simply supposed to be a pass to the front of the net became a goal as it hit Martin Brodeur and went in the back of the net. A fortunous goal, but a goal none the less.
And it was so that the Islanders entered the third period with hope, hope that all wasn’t lost and they could still get back into this game, as they were only down by 1. That’s exactly the mindset the Islanders entered the third period with, but not quite how they left it. Entering the Islanders were buzzing for a good five minutes, keeping New Jersey in their own end for the majority of it, and forcing Brodeur to make saves. However, the puck just wouldn’t seem to get through, at least not for the Islanders.
Seven minutes into the third, the Islanders were getting stuck in their zone for one of the first times all period, but New Jersey did what the Islanders couldn’t, capitalize. After the Islanders took a penalty, New Jersey would get the extra skater on the ice, Carter, who along with Elias, drove right to the net as Adam Larsson unleashed a bullet from the point. With traffic in front, Elias would drive home the rebound and give the Devils a 3-1 lead that the Islanders would never find their way back from.
It was all Devils from there, as Kovalchuk would shoot yet another one timer past Nabokov, this time from the slot, and earn himself a hat trick while giving the Devils a 4-1 lead. David Clarkson would later wrap up the scoring at 5-1 on a deflection in front.
The blame could be cast on almost anybody and everybody, but most of all the coach. On a game as important as this one, and with four days off to prepare for it, it’s unacceptable that Capuano didn’t have his team ready to go for this one. Things must change for the Islanders, the only thing is, is it too late?no comments
Updated: Head coach Jack Capuano announced that the Islanders will start Evgeni Nabokov tonight in net. Dylan Reese and Michael Grabner are the healthy scratches.
The Islanders and Devils will face off for the second of three matchups this week tonight at the Prudential Center.
Last time, the Isles defeated the Devils 1-0 at the Coliseum, with Anders Nilsson stopping all 24 shots he faced to get his first career NHL victory, Kyle Okposo scored the lone goal in the game in the second period.
The win moved them within five points of a playoff spot in the east, but a victory by the Winnipeg Jets on Monday moved the Islanders back to seven points out. A victory tonight, baring another Jets win, will move the Islanders back within five points.
Several Islanders are entering tonight’s game on different streaks. Matt Moulson has six points through his last six games; Frans Nielsen has four assists in the last four games; Casey Cizikas has three assists in his last three games; PA Parenteau has 12 points in his last 14 games and Josh Bailey has four goals in his last four games.
Expected Lineup for the Devils (via the New York Islanders website):
Pre-Game ReadingJosh Bailey’s Move Pays Dividends for Islanders - Newsday
John Tavares’ Hard work Pays Dividends - Newsday
New Jersey Seeks Revenge; Should Parenteau Too? - Lighthouse Hockey
Devils Vow They’ll be ready for Rematch - The Star Ledger
County Gets Two Bids to Develop Nassau Hub - Newsday
Islanders Prospect Ryan Strome was involved a wacky win for the Niagara IceDogs this afternoon. Strom scored five goals and one assist for six points in the IceDogs 13-4 win over the Erie Otters.
Ironically Strome’s stat line, 5-1-6, is the area code for Nassau County. An omen? Maybe.
But before anyone jumps up and down in excitement, there is a twist to this whole tale. The 13 goals were not given up by a goaltender; instead it was forward Connor Crisp who allowed the scoring palooza. The Otters had only dressed one goaltender, they lost their other earlier in the week to injury, and designated Crisp as the back up. 1:25 into the game the Otters lone goaltender left the game and they had to call Crisp into the game.
“Well, I’m a road hockey goalie, ball hockey goalie, but that’s the first time I’ve put on goalie equipment and played on ice since I was five years old,” Crisp told the Canadian Press.
While it’s nice to see Strome put up that many goals in a game, it’s hard to say he’ll be able to do it again against a natural goaltender.no comments
The Islanders head into a three-day break with a 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. Islander rookie goaltender Anders Nilsson earned his first career NHL win and stopped 25 shots in the shootout.
It would take until the second period for either side to put a point on the board. At the 2:39 mark of the second period, Kyle okposo was able to fire a shot past the glove of Martin Brodeur for the games only goal.
During the period the Islanders were able to draw three power play chances, the third came late in the period and spilled over to the third, but couldn’t convert.
John Tavares nearly added an empty net goal late in the third period, but hit the side of the net trying to get a shot off quickly with Devil players closing in. A play earlier, PA Parenteu was beat to a puck that he could have put into the empty net.
After the jump some post game thoughts.no comments
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