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Isles Power Play Not Enough In Fifth Straight Loss

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.

Will The Real Tampa Bay Lightning Team Please Stand Up


The first seven games for the Tampa Bay Lightning were a scoring fest. The Bolts netted 37 goals and went 6-1. Over the last four games, three on the road, the Bolts have scored just six goals and lost all four contests.

Tampa Bay is now 6-5 and leads the Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets by one point in the Southeastern Division.

The best thing that happened on the Bolts first extended road trip of the season was the cancellation of their game versus the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. (Steven Stamkos photograph/Susan Ferlita)

On Sunday night the New York Hagelins trounced the Lightning 5-1. Carl Hagelin had t...

Where Does Okposo Belong?

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.

Phaneuf's slump won't last

 

Dion Phaneuf is off to a slow start, registering a single assist in his first eight games, but there are several factors to consider when evaluating the captain’s game.

One of the most noticeable differences this season is Phaneuf’s ice-time—25:17 TOI/G last season to 27:53—, which may be excessive, but it is by no means the reason for his early season struggles. ...

A Late Devils Power Play Leads To A Shutout Loss For The Isles

The New York Islanders were looking to continue their winning ways against the New Jersey Devils today in a Super Bowl Sunday matinee but came up short, surrendering three late goals in the third period for a final score of 3-0.

Special teams would be a key factor in this game, as the Islanders had a handful of power play chances in the first period that they were unable to connect on. In the end, a charging penalty on Isles defenseman, Brian Strait would ultimately lead to all three goals scored by the Devils. Steven Bernier received a bouncing puck off an Adam Henrique shot and was easily able to roof it over a sprawled Evgeni Nabokov, who had 24 saves on the night. Adam Greene had the secondary assist.

Just over a minute later, Bernier would strike again, this time at even-strength with the assists coming from Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta.

David Clarkson would add an empty netter, which also gave Greene another helper for the night.

Game Preview: Kings Vs Anaheim Ducks

Preview:

The Kings (2-2-2; 6 points) make the short trip to Anaheim to play the Ducks (4-1-1; 9 points) tonight at 7. The Ducks beat the Minnesota Wild last night,3-1, thanks to the Kyle Palmieri, Teemu Selanne, and Bobby Ryan line which generated all three goals. The Kings lost 2-1 to the Predators Thursday in a shootout and have gotten points their last four games.

It's been an unimpressive start by the Kings who have failed to score and create constant pressure. The Ducks are a formidable opponent with a self less, high powered offense but have holes on the defensive end that the Kings will have to exploit to win. A win against a local rival with a less than daunting pe...

Hammered Out: Isles Defenseman Sprains Ankle

Travis Hamonic, who has been one of the New York Islanders most steady defenseman thus far this season, left last night's game against the Winnipeg Jets wearing a boot to support one of his ankles.

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, Hamonic has sprained one of his ankles and is expected to be out of the line-up tomorrow night when his team visits the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Keith Aucoin Is Making An Early Impression On The Island

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.

Blackhawks rally past Stars; remain undefeated

 

Marian Hossa scored his fifth goal of the season in the form of an overtime game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks rallied from two goals down to defeat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday night. Hossa’s goal came on Chicago’s seventh power play of the night off a beautiful behind-the-back backhand feed from Patrick Kane, pushing the team’s record to a league-best 4-0-0.

For a while it looked as though Chicago might not be able to solve Dallas net-minder Kari Lehtonen, as the Finnish-born former Thrasher frustrated one attempt after another from the Blackhawks as they outshot the Stars 12-6 in the first period to no avail.

Compounding matters was Dal...

Tampa Bay Lightning Early Season Notes And Numbers

 

After three games the Tampa Bay Lightning are 2-1 with four points and are first in the Southeast division. While it is all but impossible to glean much information from such a small sample of games, the Bolts are buying into Coach Guy Boucher’s platform and are showing signs of improvement on defense and in the net. "It’s going to be defense first. That’s our mindset, because we’ve got the offense," said Boucher. (Photo/Susan Ferlita)

Tampa Bay opened the season at home on Saturday night with a well earned 6-3 victory over division rival Washington. Martin St. Louis and Eric Brewer each scored two goa...