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Oilers 2, Islanders 1

Kevin Poulin made his NHL debut in the Islanders 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, making 19 saves in relief of goaltender Nathan Lawson

Friday, 01.07.2011 / 12:40 AM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Oilers 2, Islanders 1
Thursday night in Edmonton, the Islanders were hoping to extend their win streak to four games, but with two goals against in the first 5:17 of play, the Islanders eventually fell 2-1 to the Oilers at Rexall Place.

“It really wasn’t a game that we deserved to win,” Islanders interim head coach Jack Capuano said. “The second and third period we played, but we took the first period off and you’re not going to win when you play 40 minutes.”

Nathan Lawson got the start in net, but after giving up goals on the first two of three shots on net, Capuano made the decision to pull the goaltender to “change the momentum of the game.”

“We came out flat and hung our goalie (Lawson) out to dry,” Islanders forward Josh Bailey said.

Kevin Poulin #60 of the New York Islanders plays the puck past a charging Ryan Jones #28 of the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on January 6, 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Lawson was replaced with backup goaltender Kevin Poulin, who made an unexpected rookie debut. But for a rookie who was recalled for the first time on January 4, Poulin played an outstanding game. He saved all 19 shots he faced in 54:43 of play.

“Kevin did great,” Capuano said. “He kept us in the game. He made some great saves. Like I’ve said, I have no problem with our goaltending. We have some good ones here and we’ll use them.”

While the Isles may use their young talent, Poulin wasn’t expecting to make his first NHL appearance as a backup goaltender and said that he would have preferred the pregame jitters to the surprise.

“When you’re backing up, it’s different than when you start a game,” Poulin said. “You’re not as in to (the game), but that’s a backup's job. When you have to go in, you have to go in.”

Poulin handled himself very well, but he said he owed a lot to his teammates.

“I think my team played really well,” Poulin said. “We outshot them. My defensemen were there for me. They helped me a lot. I thought we played well. So I was pretty comfortable on the ice.”

When Capuano pulled Lawson, the Islanders definitely got the wakeup call. They responded by increasing their energy and stepping up the level of play, leaving the Oilers scoreless from that point forward. And through three periods, the Islanders outshot the Oilers 31-22.

“We had our chances and we had some good looks, but they were (hanging out in the) perimeter and there wasn’t really net presence in front of (Devan) Dubnyk,” Capuano said. “But take nothing away from (the Oilers). They played a good hockey game tonight.”

This was an opportunity for the Islanders special teams to shine. In the last two games, the Islanders have been strong in that area, but tonight’s matchup changed those statistics. After Gilbert Brule scored on a rebound at 3:22 of the first period, Dustin Penner scored a shorthanded goal at 5:17.

Andrew Cogliano #13 of the Edmonton Oilers and Milan Jurcina #27 of the New York Islanders fall while fighting for the puck at Rexall Place on January 6, 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
But that was just the beginning. The Islanders had seven power play opportunities, but failed to convert on even one.

“In the end, the start ended up costing us the game,” Islanders forward Matt Moulson said. “We had chances on the power play, especially on the 5-on-3 at the end. We did well in past games, but we didn’t burry our chances tonight on the power play.”

The Islanders did however score to close the differential 2-1, when Blake Comeau scored at 13:00 of the second period. Bailey skated behind the goal and tried to stuff the puck through Dubnyk, but then passed to Rob Schremp behind the goal line. Schremp then found Comeau at the top of the right faceoff circle to slap a shot through Bailey’s screen.

“I thought we worked extremely hard,” Moulson said. “We had a lot of chances, a lot of close chances. It’s just the way (the puck) bounces sometimes.”

The Islanders had their opportunity to tie the score in the final 4:28 of play as the Islanders had a two man advantage for 1:39, but they couldn’t find the back of the net.

“AMac (Andrew MacDonald) had a lot of clean looks and I got a tip on that one where (Dubnyk) made a glove save,” Moulson said. “But (Dubnyk) made some big saves and we had a couple errant passes that if they were a little crisper, would have been good scoring chances.”

While the Isles lost the game, Poulin was happy with his first performance on the big stage and said he hopes to get another opportunity.

“I think after this game, I know I can play in the NHL,” Poulin said. “I only have a couple shots, so we’ll see if I get another start or something. Now it’s just a dream come true for me.”

Islanders lineups:

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 15 PA Parenteau
40 Michael Grabner - 12 Josh Bailey - 58 Jesse Joensuu
57 Blake Comeau - 44 Rob Schremp - 16 Jon Sim
17 Matt Martin - 28 Zenon Konopka - 14 Trevor Gillies

47 Andrew MacDonald - 36 Travis Hamonic
38 Jack Hillen - 27 Milan Jurcina
42 Dylan Reese - 8 Bruno Gervais

52 Nathan Lawson
60 Kevin Poulin

51 Frans Nielsen
39 Rick DiPietro




1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43


J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95 is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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