Game 2: Isles Look For Split in Pittsburgh

The Islanders would benefit greatly from forgetting Game 1 completely and starting fresh tonight. With the return of Sidney Crosby imminent, the Islanders have to attempt to steal a road win in Pittsburgh. The Isles’ have decided to shake up their line up with changes up and down. Their projected lines according to reading Twitter this morning look somewhat different than Game 1.

Moulson – Tavares – Boyes
Bailey – Nielsen – Okposo
Grabner – Aucoin – McDonald
Ullstrom – Cizikas – Martin

Hamonic – MacDonald
Visnovsky – Carkner
Streit – Strait

Nabokov
Poulin

The Islanders tried to establish a physical presence and show the high powered Penguins that they were not intimidated. It was hard to hold true to that statement when you were staring at the lopsided scoreboard.

Evgeni Nabokov will get the start again after being pulled early in Game 1. Sitting him down seems like the right idea to save his psyche for the future of the series. The Islanders have to play better defensively in front of their grizzled net minder.

The Islanders will hope to secure a split on the road and they will need to get John Tavares the puck. Their star player was a non-factor for the whole night and if the puck doesn’t find his stick during Game 2, they are not going to make much noise.

It would be foolish to doubt the Isles’ resolve in this series because they have shown an ability to overcome obstacles during the season. The team has persevered all year and has stated they are looking to make some noise in the playoffs. It is important for the team to brush off the happenings during the 5-0 onslaught because nerves played a huge part in their undoing.

Fans were unhappy due to the team’s performance, but they showed in spurts that they could hang with the Penguins. They were unable to capitalize on Fleury’s inability to hold onto rebounds. If they are to push past and get a stick on any of those loose pucks, the Isles stand a fighting chance.

With first game jitters out of the way, the Isles should set forth a much better effort. The addition of Carkner and Ullstrom could spark the team in different ways. Carkner will add much needed toughness to the Isles’ line up while Ullstrom could provide a secondary source of scoring.

With a huge game to be played, the Coliseum will be rocking in Game 3 either way. If they can steal a win in Pittsburgh, they could build some momentum in making this a series.

 
-Steve Giangaspro