End A Streak, Begin A Streak.

Once again, the New York Islanders found themselves in a must win game to keep themselves away from what became far too common last year; a prolonged losing streak.  And once again, they delivered, beating an extremely hot Chicago Blackhawks team & proving that when they play their game, they can beat absolutely anyone.

First Period-

There was nothing doing in the first period for the most part.  Mikhail Grabovski got a very early penalty that could have shaped the game in a different way if Chicago scored early, but Jaroslav Halak stood on his head for all of it, & the Islanders PK looked good overall.  Jonathan Toews got a late penalty on a tripping call on Griffin Reinhart, but the Isles didn't capitalize.  Overall, it was a quiet period for the most part, with shots mostly even (10-8 Islanders) & both goaltenders playing well.

Second Period-

It was more of the same for the first half of the second period, especially after Scott Darling stoned the Islanders twice, one coming with his stick on the side of the net.  It took an absolute fluke of a goal to get the scoring going, a shot from Dan Carcillo that bounced up into the air and trickled down Halak's back into the net.  Fortunately, six seconds later Cal Clutterbuck made the Blackhawks pay, as he stole an intended pass from Duncan Keith & put it through Scott Darling's five hole.  Clutt has had a habit of having his stick in the right place on his forecheck.  The second period ended tied, but the Islanders had the momentum going into the third.

Third Period-

Last year this would have been another game where the Islanders outplay their opponent yet still lose, but the Islanders made sure there were no slipups in the third period this time around.  Patty Kane used some more voodoo magic to backhand one past Halak about 4 minutes in.  I've looked at the replay about 100 times & I still don't know how he managed to sneak that one over Halak's shoulder.  Halfway through the period, Kris Versteeg high-sticked JT & Kyle Okposo scored on the ensuing PP.  It was a beautiful keep by Nick Leddy after Chicago tried to clear it, and John Tavares' shot went right onto Okposo's stick, who finished it with a beautiful snap shot.  51 seconds later, Lubo Visnovsky scored the 3rd & game-winning goal after he used his smooth skating & stick skills to weave his way into the slot.  The Islanders looked poised on defense for the rest of the period, and they wound up outshooting Chicago 41-25.

Quick Hits-

-Griffin Reinhart impressed me in this game.  He's shown poise beyond his years so far, & he's finally beginning to use his size to his advantage.

-Speaking of Griffin Reinhart, Jack Capuano finally listened to the fans?  (probably not) & scratched Brian Strait.  It doesn't take a brian surgeon to know that when you're on the ice for 4 out of the 5 goals allowed, you probably aren't doing your job.  It most certainly wasn't all his fault, but it's nice to see Cappy pull the trigger & give the kid a chance.

-It seemed like there were a lot of Blackhawk fans there tonight.  I could tell by the goal noise & a ton of red that it seemed very Chicago heavy.  I don't necessarily care that much, but it's a bit disappointing that a team playing this well can't be fully supported.

-Game is Monday night @ 7 PM against one of our rivals, the New Jersey Devils.  I'll be there, in Section 324 so if you wanna chat let me know!  Tweet @SupRos22 for Isles talk or @TCLIsles for more info on Islanders

-Chris Passarelli