October 12, 2103
On a night where the Islanders were out played and out skated most of the night, they only lost 3-2 and at one point in the second, even led the game 2-1. Tonights loss is solely on the hand of goal-tender Evgeni Nabokov, where all the goals against him were shots that should have been stopped. The goal scorers for the Islanders tonight were John Tavares and Frans Nielsen. Kyle Okposo picked up assists on both goals.
The Important Things:
After a lack-luster first period, and going down by 1, Islanders head coach Jack Capuano made a bold change to his line-up. He swapped his top two centers Tavares and Nielsen and it had immediate impact. After the switch the two lines seemed energized and were skating hard, which led to the two quick goals. It will be interesting to see if Coach Capuano will stick to these changes going into the their next game on Tuesday. This is one of the few times Tavares and Moulson have been split up since both joined the team 5 seasons ago.
Evgeni Nabokov was in mid-season form, and that is not meant to be a compliment. All three goals against him were slap shots from far away, one even coming from the blue line. These soft goals have been the problem with Nabokov since joining the team. After giving up the final goal Nabokov settled down but it wasn’t enough to win the game. With back-up Kevin Poulin having a strong third period against the defending champion Blackhawks last night Capuano will have a decision to make of who start come Tuesday.
Veteran defenseman Matt Carkner made his season debut tonight, and logged almost 12 minutes of ice time, as Matt Donovan was the healthy scratch. This makes me look foolish as last night I proclaimed Donovan was in no danger of being benched. Brock Nelson was reinserted into the line-up as struggling winger Pierre Marc-Bouchard sat for the first time this year.
Kyle Okposo picked up two assists tonight and now has 3 points in the last two games. Who his line mates will be on the next game might be, but he has shown strong play these last two nights.
The Islanders power play was awful again tonight going 0-3 and failed to convert on a double-minor power play. It was hard enough for the Islanders to get in the zone with the extra man but even when they got in puck movement and player movement were not very good. Something needs to get done about the lack of power play efficiency. The Islanders will have two days to figure it out.
The Islanders come back to the island for some home cooking, which is maybe what they need to get kick started again. Tuesday is the next game, as they will take on the Buffalo Sabres. Game time is set for 7pm.