Oct 14, 2011

Recap: Islanders - 5, Lightning - 1

The New York Islanders (2-1-0) defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning (1-2-0) on Thursday night.

(G, A)

1st Period: 
TB: 0, NYI: 1 - John Tavares (1)
TB: 1, NYI: 1 - Steven Stamkos (1); Marc-Andre Bergeron (3)
TB: 1, NYI: 2 - Matt Moulson (1); John Tavares (1), Mark Eaton (1)
TB: 1, NYI: 3 - John Tavares (2); Matt Moulson (1), P.A. Parenteau (3)
TB: 1, NYI: 4 - P.A. Parenteau (1); John Tavares (2)
2nd Period:
TB: 1, NYI: 5 - Michael Grabner (1); Kyle Okposo (1)
3rd Period:
No Scoring


Dwayne Roloson - 13 saves on 18 shots, .722 SV%
Mathieu Garon - 16 saves on 16 shots, 1.000 SV%
Al Montoya - 34 saves on 35 shots, .971 SV%

Final Score: 5-1 NYI
Attendance: 9,759

The Isles best player was their best player tonight, as John Tavares was all over the ice in the first period. He scored two goals and assisted on two others. He played physically in all three zones, and backchecked extremely hard. His linemates, Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau also had fantastic games as both scored a goal and had an assist in the first period as well.

Al Montoya was solid in net again tonight, stopping 34 on 35 shots. While he wasn't really tested that much, he made the saves that he needed to make as he continues to establish himself as the team's #1 goaltender. There is no reason that he should not be in net against the Rangers on Saturday night. You know it would mean a lot to him too, given his history with the team.

Words cannot express how much Mark Streit means to this team. The little subtleties he brings to the table provide a calmness to the rest of the defense. Both Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic will learn a lot from him this season as they continue to progress into legitimate top-4 defensemen.

Speaking of team defense, the Islanders have allowed a total of four goals this season. A big reason for that? Attentiveness to team defense, especially by the forwards. Big marks to the fourth line of Marty Reasoner, Matt Martin, and Jay Pandolfo. They have been the Isles most consistent line, doing exactly what they need to do. Pandolfo has especially been an extremely under-the-radar acquisition, but a good one through three games.

Blake Comeau needs to pick his game up, as the third line is toiling right now. That said, Josh Bailey had a complete game in all three zones today, giving the Islanders exactly what they should expect from a third line center.

No one even bothered to try and respond to the liberties Lightning players, especially Victor Hedman, were taking on John Tavares. Matt Martin did say something to Hedman at the end of the game, but as strong as he has gotten, the Isles cannot afford to have Tavares taking huge hits every shift. The answer, however, is not Trevor Gillies.

Former Islander Dwayne Roloson never had a chance tonight. The Tampa defense was nowhere to be found, but it didn't help that John Tavares had a phenomenal night either.

OHL Alert: Ryan Strome had a hat-trick in his first game back for the IceDogs as they defeated the Belleville Bulls tonight. Clearly, he was not all that affected by getting sent down.


CH: Clearly, this was the Isles best game of the season. They played a great first period, a good attacking second period, and a smart, shut-down third period. They never let off the gas, even with a four goal lead - they just changed their style. This was obviously very encouraging based on the fact that the team can play different styles within a game to win. With the Rangers coming in after a cross-Atlantic flight and a week between games, the Islanders have a chance to make it a quality 3-1-0 homestand with a win. If they play 60 minutes, they will certainly have a great chance.

AT: Nice to see the Isles offense finally find it's groove, and the players who had been playing hard (Tavares most notably) finally get their due in the score sheet. The defense was solid even though they allowed 35 shots, the 4th line was absolutely monstrous both in forechecking and creating some offensive pressure, and the team as a whole played as they should have. Most notably for me was the PK unit, specifically Reasoner and Pandolfo. Two subtle additions in the offseason may turn out to be the two greatest, as right now they look to be one of the best PK units in the entire league.

Next game: The Islanders next game is Saturday night at the Nassau Coliseum against the New York Rangers. Game time is at 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on MSG+.

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