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Isles drop home opener 2-0

Lack of shots on net and too many penalties were the Islanders downfall in loss to Florida Panthers in first game of the 2011-12 season

Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 11:43 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Isles drop home opener 2-0
 
The Islanders dropped their first game of the 2011-12 season at home in front of a sold out crowd, 2-0, to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

“They had a better start,” Islanders Captain Mark Streit said about the Panthers. “They came out pretty hard and we didn’t skate enough and we didn’t use our speed and they got the first goal. It happened throughout the whole game, we had a couple chances on the power play and as the game went on we got in the game better, but we certainly didn’t have a good start.”

Jose Theodore and Brian Campbell combine to stop John Tavares at Nassau Coliseum on October 8, 2011. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
With just five shots in the opening period, the Islanders didn’t make their first game of the season easy for Al Montoya, who made 27 saves in the losing effort.

“(Montoya) came up big for us and gave us a chance to win the game,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “He gave up one even strength goal and a 5-on-3 goal. Normally, when you do that, you feel you have a pretty good chance to win the hockey game.”

Getting shots to the net seemed to be the Islanders’ downfall.

“We didn’t create the offense tonight and we didn’t get to the paint and that’s the result of turnovers and not paying the price to get there,” Capuano said. “That’s the one thing we’ll address and we’ll do a better job of that.”

Neither team had complete control of the play through much of the first period, but the Panthers still doubled the Islanders shots with 10 and found their mark at 16:37; Stephen Weiss scored from the top of the crease to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

Montoya said, “I knew it would be important for me to weather the storm right away. They got a couple of lucky breaks and I wasn’t too happy with that first one. It came through a screen, but it went through me.”

Penalties began taking a toll just over the 13-minute mark of the first. Mike Mottau, who took three penalties on the night, was called for high-sticking (13:03) and then again for holding at 18:13 as he and David Booth tangled up and took Montoya’s legs out from under him.

Jason Garrison is hit into the boards by Matt Martin at Nassau Coliseum on October 8, 2011. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
“It’s a little disappointing to me that whatever the reason we didn’t get out of the gate and then to compound that with the penalties that we took to give them opportunities right off the bat that put us behind,” Capuano said.

Jason Garrison gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead when he converted a  5-on-3 at 19:45 after Travis Hamonic took an extra two minute penalty for roughing Scottie Upshall, after both received five-minutes for fighting (and Upshall a game misconduct).

The Islanders played better through the second stanza, getting 12 shots on net compared to just five in the opening period.

It was the Islanders fourth line that stood out. Matt Martin had five shots and five hits in 8:57 of play, while getting to the paint and taking a penalty for goaltender interference in the third. Marty Reasoner and Jay Pandolfo each recorded a shot and were even on the night. Both received significant shorthanded TOI with  2:50 and 2:08 respectively.

“Our fourth line was the best line tonight,” Capuano said. “That’s a credit to them, but our other guys need to play a little bit harder and our best players need to be our best players.”

Like the rest of the team, Streit was disappointed and hopes they’ll be able to turn their game around for Monday’s matinee against the Minnesota Wild.

“We wanted to start with a win,” Streit said. “We had a great crowd, a good atmosphere and a good feeling, but we lost the game. We know we can play better and we have to turn the page here and play Monday and get our first win.”

Forwards
Moulson-Tavares-Parenteau
Okposo-Nielsen-Grabner
Rolston-Bailey-Comeau
Martin-Reasoner-Pandolfo

Defensemen
Streit-Staios
MacDonald-Hamonic
Eaton-Mottau

Goaltenders
Montoya
DiPietro

Scratches
Jurcina
Nabokov
Strome

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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