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, 01.7.2011 / 12:40 AM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
Share with your Friends

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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48


J. Tavares 75 34 40 -1 74
R. Strome 74 15 31 19 46
K. Okposo 53 15 31 -10 46
F. Nielsen 74 13 28 9 41
B. Nelson 75 18 22 9 40
A. Lee 69 23 16 14 39
J. Bailey 63 15 23 6 38
J. Boychuk 65 8 25 10 33
T. Hamonic 65 5 25 16 30
N. Leddy 71 10 19 16 29
J. Halak 35 16 2 .915 2.39
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com 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.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use