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Isles battle, come up short

Nielsen, MacDonald and Hamonic kill 5-on-3 penalty and keep Rangers at bay in shift lasting 2:59 to close the second period

Tuesday, 11.15.2011 / 10:51 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Isles battle, come up short

Sometimes, the final score does not tell the story of a game. Tuesday night’s 4-2 loss to the Rangers was one of those outcomes. Tied at 2 late in the third, goals from Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan provided the final margin.

“It’s frustrating,” Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “These are the ones you really have to learn from. (The win) was right there (for the taking). We had it. We made just one mistake and it ended up in our net. At the end of the day we have to learn from that and now this one is put away. It’s a bad feeling. This is a feeling we don’t want anymore.”

Despite a few lapses and a slow start in the first period, Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano thought his team played one of the best games they’ve played all season.

Ryan Callahan tries to obstruct the view of Evgeni Nabokov as and Andrew MacDonald defends the crease during a power play in the second period at Nassau Coliseum on November 15, 2011. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
“We are a desperate hockey team and I thought we were dangerous tonight,” Capuano said. “We really came out and got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I liked the way we competed in the second half of the first and the second and third.”

The Islanders evened the score on two occasions. First, Frans Nielsen potted a goal at 17:06 of the first period and then at 6:58 of the third, Matt Moulson redirected a pass from John Tavares around the paint on the power play to even the score at two. In the second period, the Isles outshot the Rangers 2:1 and 33-30 on the night.

“It seemed like we really brought it all together,” Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald said. “We were moving our feet and we were coming with speed, which is the frustrating part. There have obviously been games this year that we lost that we deserved to lose, but tonight was a really hard fought game. I’m sure the fans enjoyed it, but it was not the result we were looking for.”

Some of the most exhilarating and stomach turning play occurred in the second period. The Rangers killed off three straight Islanders power plays as Steve Eminger (cross checking), Erik Christensen (goaltender interference) and Callahan (slashing) each took penalties.

But before the close of the period, it was the Islanders turn to come up big on the penalty kill. In the last 3:28 of play, the Isles were forced to kill off 29 seconds 5-on-4 before putting out MacDonald, Hamonic and Nielsen to kill off a 5-on-3.

“Those are obviously really big momentum switches in a game,” Hamonic said. “For six or seven minutes, they were basically killing penalties. We had three power plays in a row, so they killed all three of them and then it was of our turn to get some of the momentum back in our favor. That was a huge kill and Nabby (Evgeni Nabokov) was the biggest part of that.”

We couldn’t get off the ice. I thought that even though we were all very exhausted by the end of it, that we did a good job battling through. That’s what it takes in those situations; you can’t give up. Even right until the end, we could barely move, but guys were still throwing themselves in front of shots. That’s just the commitment to the team that we need. - Travis Hamonic
Just as the Isles killed the penalty, MacDonald took a delayed penalty for roughing, forcing the dynamic penalty killing trio to keep the Rangers at bay in a shift that spanned 2:59. With a fresh group of skaters, the Isles killed the remainder of the period and the first 1:15 of the third.

“We couldn’t get off the ice,” Hamonic said. “I thought that even though we were all very exhausted by the end of it, that we did a good job battling through. That’s what it takes in those situations; you can’t give up. Even right until the end, we could barely move, but guys were still throwing themselves in front of shots. That’s just the commitment to the team that we need.”

Though it wasn’t reflected in the final score, more efforts like the Isles put forth on Tuesday night will surely turn the Islanders skid around. Nabokov made 26 saves as the Islanders outshot the Rangers 33-30.

Notes: Sean Avery gave the Rangers the early lead with a goal at 14:43 of the first. Eminger reestablished the Rangers lead with a goal at 6:07 of the second period.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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