Post Game Report 11/12/13: Islanders Snap Losing Streak, Defeat Predators 3-1 at Home
After a winless road trip, the Islanders returned home to Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night for their second and final meeting of the season with the Nashville Predators. The first meeting was a Predators 3-2 victory last month. Tonight a different story as the Islanders snapped their 4 game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Predators on home ice.
While the Islanders entered the night looking to snap a losing streak with a change of scenery coming home. The Predators on the other hand are playing the 6th game of a 7 game road trip in which they were shutout in two prior games at Washington and at the Devils. Key players on both sides were inactive as the Islanders Thomas Vanek is still suffering from an upper body injury and the Predators number one goalie Pekka Rinne who has been out with a hip infection.
The goalie matchup featured Kevin Poulin for the Islanders who has started in 3 of the past 4 games and Marek Mazanec for the Predators filling in for the injured Rinne. The Islanders got a lot of control early on and chances on the power play. After failing on the first two power play attempts the third time was the charm as John Tavares scored his 8th goal of the year at the 15:35 mark to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Almost two minutes later in the period Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored his 4th of the year off an Islanders faceoff win for a 2-0 lead after the opening period. A big period for Frans Nielsen who assisted on both goals and with that he reached 20 points on the season and his 4th multi assist game of the season. Kevin Poulin in his 2nd consecutive start opened the game with some big saves made and helped build some confidence with the team.
A 2-0 Islanders lead after the 1st period led to maintaining puck control and playing smart hockey the rest of the way. Poulin’s strong play in net continued and Kyle Okposo added his 6th goal of the year early in the period to extend the lead to 3-0. Tavares and Nielsen assisted on the goal as both of them had multi point games on the night. The score would stay 3-0 through the 2nd and almost throughout the 3rd period as Kevin Poulin was working toward his 1st career shutout but that didn’t happen as the Predators Patric Hornqvist scored his 5th of year at the 14:30 mark that ended that opportunity. Most important, Poulin played well enough to earn his 2nd win of the year.
The Islanders (7-9-3) snap the losing streak and look to build on this victory as they continue a three game home stand on Thursday night when the Los Angeles Kings visit Nassau Coliseum. I would like to end this post by sending congratulations to the Islanders Director of Media Relations Kimber Auerbach whose wife gave birth to a baby girl today. Last season I had the opportunity to work with Kimber on multiple occasions during the season and in the playoffs.