It took a dramatic finish, but the New York Islanders finally won a game on home ice during a Sunday matinee game, defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in the shootout.
The Islanders got on the board early in the game when Brad Boyes scored his fifth of the year, beating Robin Lehner glove side under the crossbar. The play started when Matt Moulson received a pass from Mark Streit at the Senators blue line and fed Boyes the puck as he was flying up the slot.
Not long after Boyes' goal, Matt Martin was found banging bodies all over the ice. In fact Martin had 6 hits in just over 3 minutes of play during the first period. Senators enforcer Chris Neil took exception to Martin's physical play and challenged him to a fight, but Martin ignored his request and continued to take out Senators along the wall.
He finished with 11 hits on the night. Coming into the game, Martin was just one shy of tying Buffalo Sabres forward Steve Ott for the league lead of 94 hits.
Well at least I was right about something in yesterday's preview...anyone looking for a skilled hockey was sorely disappointed in watching last night's beat down of the Bruins by the previously dismal Buffalo Sabres.
Buffalo strolled into Boston with something to prove and right out of the gate they made sure the Bruins knew that they could be just as tough as the Big Bad Black and Gold. Shawn Thornton and John Scott dropped the gloves early in the first and that was all of the hockey game "Twos" got to see. Scott, 6' 8", took down the Bruins heavy weight champ without breaking a sweat. It was brut...
Christmas comes early for Boston. Anyone who's looking for some great, professional NHL hockey will be sorely disappointed tonight. Rivalries are usually born out of two great teams going head to head, usually, but not here...Buffalo and Boston are rivals simply because they hate each other. The Sabres come into tonight on a four game losing streak and the Bruins have won their last three and haven't lost a game in regulation all season. Last year, the Sabres spent a lot of money to buy a roster (and a Cup) and they didn't even make the post season. Tonight, knowing they are going to face a ski...
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)
Isles fans have a way of forcing themselves to see the positives in most murky situations. They could hold a polluted, cloudy glass of water to the light and say “...at least its water!” The fan base is thirsty and have been parched for entirely too long. Saving the ‘stranded on an island’ metaphors, most fans that attend and/or watch each Islanders’ campaign needs something to bring them back after being consistently let down. (Photo Credit: Flickr/slidingsideways)
For the older generation of fans, the original cast that were around since the dynasty days, the reasoning is simple. They seemed to have accepted their apparent, under the table deal with the hockey demons as an exchange for those years as hockey’s prestige.
For the fans that weren’t around for those glory days, they hold on to moments or streaks of greatness. They hold the 1992-93 Islanders dear to their heart spending their days cursing Dale Hunter’s existence and asking hypotheticals about Pierre Turgeon’s unforeseen injury. They remember a good 1993-94 team that got dismantled by the Cup bound Rangers in a 4 game sweep but took the loss thinking they’d be right back eventually. How could they not?
The New York Islanders were very active yesterday, acquiring three new players on the open market on the first day of NHL Free Agency. Forward Brad Boyes was signed to a one-year, $1 million deal and was soon followed by defenseman Matt Carkner's three-year contract worth $4.5 million.
Not long after these signings, former Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau inked a four-year, $16 million deal with the Colorado Avalance. Although many on twitter felt that the Isles could have easily afforded Parenteau's new contract, it still made plenty of sense to let him go. Four years for a 29 year old hockey player that only had one season worthy of top line honors and only two full seasons of NHL experience is a lot to commit too. In addition, Matt Moulson presently makes less per year than Parenteau's new contract. Moulson has been a consistent thirty goal scorer since joining the Islanders and has maintained chemistry with his long-time buddy, John Tavares. GM Garth Snow must have seen the risks in possibly off-setting the locker room if he showed that he felt Parenteau was more deserving a higher salary to go along with the other risk factors involved in that contract. With that being said, I wish Parenteau the best of luck and will look forward to seeing him return to Coliseum ice.
But in every difficulty lies an opportunity, and that is what Brad Boyes has been given.
If the Islanders won all of their remaining games and the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres lost their remaininga games, then the Isles would have done the unthinkable and made the playoffs for the first time in years. However, miraculous combinations of wins and losses are hard to come by these days, especially when you are playing against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Bruins scored six goals this afternoon for the third time this season against the Islanders, taking the season series with a 3-1-0 record. The loss finally elimanted the Islanders from playoff contention, concluding the thoughts of even the most hopeless fan that thought somehow they would squeak in. The focus now will shift to finishing the season with a winning record for the first time since Ted Nolan was the head coach and ending up somewhere between 9th and 11th place.
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers both scored and Ryan Miller made 30 saves as the Sabres spoiled interim head coach Doug Weight’s coaching debut 2-1 on Tuesday Night.
Weight was appointed interim head coach for the game as head coach Jack Capuano dealt with a flu that has ravaged his lineup in the past three games. Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game dealing with the illness.
An all too similar start to the game forced the Islanders into an early 1-0 hole. Tyler Myers opened the scoring just 1:21 into the game. After a initial stop on Derek Roy, Myers found the rebound and snapped it over a prone Kevin Poulin. For the second straight game, the Islanders fell behind within the first 90 seconds.
The New York Islanders went into last night's game looking to pull themselves to a .500 record but failed to do so, squandering a 3-1 first period lead to the Buffalo Sabres and losing by a score of 4-3 in the shootout.
Frans Nielsen would have a three point first period, scoring two goals and adding an assist to help get the Islanders to an early lead despite starting off slow. The Isles were out shot 17-9 in the first period and Al Montoya seemed a little shakey in net. It was only his second start after missing about a month's worth of playing time due to a concussion. His first start was before the All Star break, so it wasn't a surprise that he looked like he needed to shake the rust off. But he would respond well in the second and third periods, continuing to give his team a chance to win the whole night.
“We knew it was going to be a tough weekend,” said Montoya after the game. “[There were] huge points on the line. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t come out with two points.”