The Islanders face the Boston Bruins this afternoon at the NVMC in their alternate black jerseys. Boston is second in the eastern conference and 5-4-1 in their last 10. Your New York Islanders are riding a three game winning streak and playing well with balanced scoring, good defense and strong transitional play. Game on!
Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau, Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo, Grabner-Reasoner-Niederreiter, Haley-Pandolfo-Martin.
Defensive Pairings: MacDonald-Hamonic, Streit-Reese, Eaton-Staios.
Al Montoya is in goal with John Grahame backing up. John Grahame will wear No. 37 for New York.
Milan Jurcina and Casey Cizikas (upper body) are scratched today.
Brian Compton, Isles have returned Kevin Poulin to Bridgeport.
In the first period, both teams playing tight defensively and getting offensive chances. Some good scoring opportunities by the Isles, but they are not able to finish. Boston scores off a nice set up from behind the net. 1-0 Bruins. Soon after, Kyle Okposo (Nielsen and Hamonic) with a beautiful shot from the slot beating Turco, game tied at 1-1. Kyle Okposo on a five game goal-scoring streak for the Isles. Shots are even at 7-7.
Isles come out in the second with some good offensive pressure against the Bruins. Michael Haley gets into it with Cambell. Bruins go ahead 2-1, off an offensive zone turnover. Nice pass by Moulson to Tavares for a beautiful play to set up P.A. Parenteau for the goal. Game tied at 2-2. The Isles are getting good pressure off the PP in the second period, moving the puck well. Isles out shoot Bruins 9-7 in the period and 16-14 in the game thus far.
Montoya with a big save on an Isles turnover to start the third period. Shaky start fo far by the Isles. Boston scores to regain the lead again early in the period, 3-2 Bruins. John Tavares missing from Isles bench for a few minutes but returns shortly. Probably equipment related. Boston scores, 4-2 Bruins. Islanders look a little disjointed here with under 10 minutes remaining. Lets see if they can refocus. P.A. Parenteau (Moulson) scores, Boston lead cut to one at 4-3. It is Parenteau’s 3rd career 2 goal game. Boston scores immediately to regain a two point, then 3 point lead, now 6-3 Boston. Turco makes a big save against a breaking Grabner to preserve the lead for Boston. The Islanders have been outworked and shaken in the second half of the third despite working hard. Their playoff race will officially be over when time expires. Bruins win 6-3. Bruins out shoot Isles 12-6 in the period and 26-22 in the game. Al Montoya is 20/26 with a .769 Sv%.
The Islanders fell apart in the late stages of the game and were beaten by a champion today who kept coming each time the Islanders answered. A few good lessons for a young Islander team that at times, has showed me a lot this season. But they have also showed me they have inefficient coaching, under performing players and an overall culture of losing. I think they can win with a few changes with coaching and acquisition of player talent, but will ownership and management be able to do it this summer. They haven’t corrected the mistakes over the last few years and until they do, the Isles will be doomed to stagnate and finish in the bottom 5 each season.
Per Newsday, Evgeni Nabokov hopes to return before end of season.
Tom Mascioli mentions, Matt Martin set an NHL record today for most hits in a single season with 360.
Rick DiPietro will be greeting fans and giving away food vouchers for fan appreciation day tomorrow vs the Ottawa Senators. Good luck Rick.
Happy 80th Birthday to New York and NHL legend, Mr. Stan Fischler.