The New York Islanders went into tonight's game against the Carolina Hurricanes with the hopes of ending a four-game losing streak before heading back to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night for their Valentine's Day re-match with the New York Rangers. Despite ending their scoreless power play streak, the Islanders would add another tally to the loss column with a 6-4 defeat on home ice.
Frans Nielsen opened the scoring with a power play goal just 2:48 into the hockey game with assists coming from Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic. But former Islanders Tim Wallace would tie the game a little over mid-way through the first period, sending both teams to their respective locker rooms in a draw.
The middle frame would prove to be a wild one. John Tavares scored the Isles second power play goal after jumping on a rebound in front. Matt Moulson and Lubomir Visnovsky earned the helpers. But Canes forward Jeff Skinner would knot it up at two less than 30 seconds later with a snap shot in the high slot that Rick DiPietro never saw.
After dropping their last four games, the Islanders will look to turn things around tonight when they face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at home.
After dressing two suspended players, Josh Bailey and Lubomir Visnovsky, the Isles played a hard fought game against the Sabres on Saturday night. Despite outshooting Buffalo 43-15, the Isles fell short in a 3-2 loss, cementing a four-game losing streak. (Photo Credit: Beauty Playin 'Eh/Flickr)
As Long Islanders shovel their way out of Nemo's wintery wrath, the Islanders look to dig themselves out of this 3 game losing streak.
After a successful road trip, the Islanders returned home to lose to New Jersey and Pittsburgh and went back to the road for the first against the Rangers.
Other than John Tavares' impressive play, the Islanders looked outworked, unenthusiastic and just overwhelmed by the Rangers.
They have been outscored 11-3 on this recent skid. It is obvious that scoring is not coming to the team as easily as it once was.
It is important for the team not to harp on losses and let them snowball into long stretches of futility that could render this season a wash.
The season is too tightly packed for the Islanders to feel bad for themselves and let the losses mount. In this talented Eastern Conference and more specifically Atlantic Division, it is easy to get buried.
The New York Islanders visited their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers, last night for the first time this season. Despite out shooting the Rangers 28-25, the Isles came up short for their third loss in a row and were defeated 4-1 at Madison Square Garden. (Photo Credit: JR_in_NYC/flickr)
Kyle Okposo spent a considerable amount of time on the Isles top unit last season alongside of John Tavares and Matt Moulson. Despite a very slow start that saw him sit in the press-box as a healthy scratch for multiple games, Okposo managed to reach the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career with a total of 24 on the year (Photo Credit: bridgetds/Flickr).
Okposo started this season with the same line-mates mentioned above but only scored three points in eight games and appeared to be struggling to keep up with his offensive counterparts. So last night head coach Jack Capuano shifted him back to the second line with Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner, two players that found chemistry with Okposo for the majority of last year.
The Pittsburgh Penguins skate into the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum seemingly much more awake than the last time the Islanders ran into them. The Penguins will look to continue their hot streak and put the 4-1 domination by the Islanders behind him.
In case you haven’t followed where Pittsburgh has been since they were outplayed at home, they have strung off 3 straight wins in dominating fashion outscoring their opponents 14-4 over 3 games. Sitting at 6-3-0, they look to add to their slight Atlantic Division lead.
Meanwhile the Isles battled tooth and nail with a gritty Devils team. The Islanders feel victimized by a call that quickly turned a 0-0 draw late into the third period into a 3-0 Devils win.
Whether or not Brian Strait should have been sitting in the penalty box when the Devils rallied for the win is irrelevant. The score on Sunday was misleading and they continued their strong play all day.
The Islanders will play their third home game of the season later today against the New Jersey Devils. After a 5-game road trip, the Isles secured 7 out of 10 possible points, leaving them tied with the Devils for 2nd place in the Atlantic. (Photo Credit: Thomas Weber/The Checking Line)
These two teams last met on Thursday, where the Islanders put on a spectacular special teams showcase. The Isles killed all five New Jersey power-plays and went 3 for 4 on their own man advantage, winning the game 5-4 thanks to a Brad Boyes overtime goal.
With seven games in the books, Islander fans are left feeling oddly confident and pleasantly surprised with the team's success to begin their season. With a tough road trip that traveled through the cities of Toronto, Boston, Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, the Islanders return home accomplishing what they had intended to do.
One of the most refreshing commentary about this team is that they are in every game. Yes, it is still early but they have not looked over matched and they had opportunities to win every game they've played in this year.