The New York Islanders will welcome the Dallas Stars to Nassau Coliseum this evening to conclude the season series between the teams. Dallas, the current Pacific Division leaders, has exhibited some streaky form of late. Their 35 points, however, leave them eleven points better than the struggling Isles, though New York has played one fewer game.
Fresh off of 1-0 shutout of a the New York Rangers, coupled with some recent unsteadiness in the New York crease makes Dallas a significant favorite tonight.
Brian Rolston, Jay Pandolfo, Marty Reasoner and Steve Staios were added to this Islanders team during the off-season to provide veteran stability throughout the line-up; Rolston was acquired for cap room and an added offensive punch over Trent Hunter, Pandolfo and Reasoner were brought in for defensive support on the bottom line, and Staios added grit and experience to a relatively young defense crew.
Let's take a look at their numbers to see where they stand...
The Islanders, who are boasting the worst offense in the league with only a dismal 59 goals for (the second worst team is the L.A. Kings with 63), were heavily criticized for one specific thing over the past three months; not scoring enough goals. (Shocking, right?)
After being shutout several times this year, the Isles were becoming a one-trick pony; if the line of Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau wasn't scoring, then there wasn't anything to worry about if you were the opposing team. However, the Isles have been on a recent streak after coming away with points in their past six games played.
When the New York Islanders last welcomed the Tampa Bay Lightning to Nassau Coliseum, it took just 36 seconds for them to establish their lead and roll to a 5-1 victory.
On Tuesday night, the Islanders allowed Tampa to score first, but the result would end up exactly the same.
Al Montoya, whose fine play has been carrying the Isles of late (with his 2.17 Goals Against Average and .931 save percentage coming in to the contest) started in goal. The Islanders faced Mathieu Garon in the other end.
Though they fired the first five shots of the game, none got past Garon. When Tampa Bay was able to get their first shot on net, a blast from the stick of Brett Clark near the point, Martin St. Louis redirected it past Montoya for his 800th career NHL point.
The New York Islanders went into today's game against the New Jersey Devils hoping to make-up for their overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers but came up short, losing 1-0 to another division rival.
It was the sixth time this season that the Islanders have been shutout, a glaring reason why this team has struggled to win hockey games.
"Obviously we didn't score. If you don't score you're not going to win a hockey game," said Islanders captain Mark Streit to me after the game. "We had chances, faced a pretty good goalie, had chances on the PP, we just didn't score but I still think there's a lot of good things we did.I thought tha...
"We saw it last year, I saw it. I saw the energy and the desperation in our game last year. The second half, we had the best record in the National Hockey League after the All-Star break. We were physical. We were tough to play against."
-Islanders head coach Jack Capuano after the New York Islanders 6-0 loss Saturday night to the Boston Bruins.
Ask the Boston Bruins and Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburgh...
The Islanders scored four goals in the second period and held off some late game pressure and defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 4-3. Rick DiPietro got the win in relief of Evgeni Nabokov, who left the ice just 7:55 into the first period due to an apparent lower body injury. Nabokov is said to have a hamstring issue, and will be evaluated today.
The first shot against DiPietro came on a power play, and as has been the Islanders luck so far this season, the shot beat him. However, in a new turn of events for the Islanders and their luck, this time the post was there to back DiPietro up, and the Islanders killed off the power play unscathed.
Preview: The New York Islanders return home to Nassau Coliseum to take on their all-time rival, the New York Rangers.
The Islanders are coming off a western road trip which saw them give up a 3 goal lead in an overtime loss to the Avalanche, and a clinic put on by the Canucks in a loss to Vancouver. The Islanders have played better hockey since changing up their offensive lines a few games ago, putting up more scoring chances more consistently. However, they haven’t been able to translate the better play into wins. A win tonight against the Rangers would mean even more than usual, as it would end a slide of losing efforts.