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Despite loss, Isles played their game

Islanders outshot their opponent, but still dropped their third straight game in the first half of a home-and-home with the Pittsburgh Penguins

Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 10:48 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Despite loss, Isles played their game
The Islanders were shutout 3-0 in their first half of a home-and-home with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum. However, the score is not indicative of how the team played.

“Everyone worked hard," Islanders forward Matt Martin said. "Everyone was finishing their checks. We outshot them. We outhit them and for the most part, I thought we outplayed them. We just have to limit our turnovers, especially against a team like this.”

The game proved to be completely different than the Islanders recent road trip through the Sunshine State. After the first 20 minutes, the Islanders outshot their division rivals 13-7 and by the end of regulation, the Islanders had put 33 shots on Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

John Tavares controls the puck in front of Paul Martin and Pascal Dupuis at Nassau Coliseum on October 25, 2011. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
Unfortunately, their chances didn’t register on the scoresheet.

“We can’t get frustrated,” Islanders defenseman Mark Eaton said. “We played the right way tonight. We outshot them. We got pucks to the net. If we play that way every night, more often than not, pucks are going to go in the net.”

They may not have earned two points in the standings, but Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano saw a clear improvement over their last two games and thought his team executed their game plan well.

“We did a pretty good job of going to the net,” Capuano said. “When our D had the puck up high, we had some extended zone time. I thought structure-wise we were good in the offensive zone. We had net presence. (Fleury) made some pretty good saves. I thought he played extremely well tonight and I thought his team in front of him played well too.”

The Islanders still feel they need to step up their level of play and do a better job of outworking their opponent to earn the W.

For Eaton, the key to victories in games like Tuesday night’s are “Scoring ugly goals, getting everything to the net and getting bodies there. It’s going to be getting pucks off of shin pads, off of butts.”

Though Eaton said the Islanders had the right mentality, he said the contest against his former team should be used as a learning experience.

Travis Hamonic hits Evgeni Malkin into the boards at Nassau Coliseum on October 25, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
“We know how they play, we play them six times a year,” Eaton said. “And I played for them, so it’s no surprise what they brought tonight. They’re a team that likes to posses the puck and play in the offensive zone and ware teams down. That’s where we can learn from them a bit, that’s exactly how we need to play.”

Fleury had an impeccable game, stopping all 33 shots he faced. Pascal Dupuis put up a goal at 17:06 of the first period, Richard Park converted 21 seconds into the second stanza and Jordan Staal scored an empty-net goal at the 18-minute mark of the third period to seal the Penguins win.

“Fleury is one of the best goalies in this league,” Martin said. “He’s going to have nights like this. I mean, we have goalies that are fully capable of stealing games for us as well, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. Their first two goals came off our mistakes, so that’s something we have to focus on.”

After dropping two on their first road trip of the season, the loss to the Penguins is the Islanders third straight, falling to 3-4-0. The Islanders will have their chance for a rematch as they face the Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center on Thursday.

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 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
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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