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.
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.
Looking to rebound from two consecutive road losses to the Bruins and the Jets, the Islanders came into Pittsburgh on Tuesday night to break the streak. The Isles, who haven't had much luck in the Steel City, had been defeated in 13 of their last 14 games in Pittsburgh. (Photo Credit: AxsDeny/Flickr)
Early in the first period, the Penguins went to the power play twice where they were incredibly ineffective. The Islanders penalty killers held the Pens out of their zone and off the scoreboard.
With under five minutes left in the opening period, the Isles put up their first of the night.
It's early. The season is only four games old for the New York Islanders, who have come out of the gate with a 2-2-0 record. And although he has four assists on the year, it hasn't been John Tavares who has been scoring the majority of the goals (Photo Credit: MR_53/Flickr).
Keith Aucoin, who is tied for first on the team in goals with Michael Grabner, is slowly emerging as this year's key pick up by GM Garth Snow.
Grabner is expected to be on the score sheet after scoring 20-plus goals over his first two years with the Islanders. But Aucoin has only played 106 NHL games and only had the first two-goal game of his career last night against the Boston Bruins.
The New York Islanders kick off their first road trip of the season tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It will be the first of three meetings between the two teams during the shortened 48-game season.
With healthy head coach Jack Capuano back behind the bench, the Isles came out on Monday afternoon with confidence and agility. They look to keep the momentum going tonight and pick up another two points. (Photo Credit: gbalogh/Flickr)