Postgame 10/22: Isles Fall to Canucks in OT
The New York Islanders wrapped up their homestand with a battle against the Vancouver Canucks. They are a rare opponent for the Isles. But, the man behind the bench for the Canucks is a familiar face. John Tortorella, the former coach of the New York Rangers, is now leading the way for Vancouver.
The game started very well for the Islanders as there were a few firsts of the year. Brock Nelson recorded his first career NHL goal. He was in the lineup filling in for Michael Grabner who received a two game suspension for an illegal hit in their last contest. Cal Clutterbuck also had his first point as an Islander with an assist on the goal.
Matt Moulson added a goal soon after on the power play. He has truly been a force on the man advantage to begin the season.
Vancouver answered soon after with a goal from Ryan Kesler. Before the period was halfway over, Daniel Sedin had evened it up with a shot past Evgeni Nabokov.
The second period scoring was opened up with another Matt Moulson power play goal. The Islanders have had an excellent power play to start this season. That has not been one of their problems. They must work on their 5 on 5 play. Obviously a majority of the game is played at even strength and the power play opportunities aren’t always going to come.
Later in the period, Henrik Sedin put a wrist shot into the net with help from his twin brother Daniel. The Long Island native, Chris Higgins, put an exclamation point on his hometown return with a goal with just seconds left in the period. Nabokov left a very juicy rebound off a shot for Higgins to slam home into the net. The Canucks took a 4-3 lead into the third.
The third period was quite an eventless one for the most part. The Canucks were playing like the old Rangers under Tortorella. They gave the Islanders very few chances to get to the net and held their own blue line down very well.
However, with a little over a minute left and the Islanders net empty, Frans Nielson found a way to score on Roberto Luongo to send this game to overtime.
The Islanders were outplayed in the overtime period. A costly John Tavares turnover led to a Brad Richardson goal. Evgeni Nabokov let in what most would call a few “soft” goals. This goal was no exception.
After the game, Jack Capuano spoke to the media about how he felt about the game. It was very apparent that he was upset with the goaltending. He said, “I’m not going to talk about the goaltending.” It sounds like he knows the scoring ability of this team. He needs his goaltender to be able to make crucial saves to help win some games. Nabokov is not stealing games early in the season as he did last year.
Kevin Poulin may have a very big opportunity to see a lot more playing time if he plays well this weekend. Jack Capuano seemed very open to giving the youngster more minutes as long as he plays a consistent game.
Oh, by the way, yet another one goal game for the Islanders. Their next game is on Friday night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.
William Tranfaglia (Twitter: BillyTran51, TCLIsles)