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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 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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