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Penguins 5, Islanders 0

Islanders unable to stop Crosby in his return to ice, drop their second straight

Monday, 11.21.2011 / 10:52 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Penguins 5, Islanders 0
The hype surrounding Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby’s return to the lineup was buzzing all day in the hockey world. Playing his first game since being sidelined with a concussion Jan. 6, Crosby missed 61 consecutive games. In his season debut, the center opened and closed the scoring, lifting the Penguins to a five-goal shutout win over the Islanders, with two goals and two assists for four points.

However, the shutout bid was not completely indicative of how the Islanders played as they put 29 shots on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. John Tavares led the Islanders with six shots on goal and won 65 percent of his faceoffs (winning 14 of 21) and Islanders Captain Mark Streit put up four shots.

“I thought we had some good energy to start the game,”  Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said, “We came out, got ourselves in a bit of penalty trouble, had some chances and didn’t score. I think right now, we just have to find a way emotionally to not be that fragile team when they face adversity.”

Sidney Crosby carries the puck as he is defended by John Tavares and Travis Hamonic during their NHL game at Consol Energy Center on November 21, 2011. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
Capuano was of course talking about being down two at the end of the first period and then down three after a power play goal from Evgeni Malkin by the 3:17 mark of the second period. Crosby put the Penguins on the board at 5:24 of the first and Brooks Orpik scored at 16:29. Steve Sullivan brought the Penguins ahead 4-0 with a goal at 5:53 of the second and Crosby closed the scoring with a goal at 2:06 of the third.

Positives for the Islanders were Matt Martin and David Ullstrom, who never stopped moving their feet. Martin made a team-high nine hits, while Ullstrom made four hits, put up two shots and won two of three faceoffs in his NHL debut.

“We had some guys tonight that gave a good effort,” Capuano said. “I liked the effort from David Ullstrom and Matty Martin, they had close to 15 hits between just the two guys, so I was real pleased with David’s game tonight and his effort.”

Ullstrom said, “It was exciting to get out there and play against these guys, but obviously it was a tough loss. I was just trying to work hard and be in the right spots and be reliable, work hard. I was just trying to do my best and I know I did. This is a great league and there are a lot of good players so you have to be at your best level every shift. It’s all about details and habits.”

Heading into Monday night’s contest at CONSOL Energy Center, the Islanders were coming off a shutout loss to the Boston Bruins, after which Capuano sent his players a clear message about how they need to play to win hockey games which included playing with energy, tenacity, physicality and desperation.

I didn’t think we played poorly, we just have to find a way to score some goals. You have to score two or three goals a night to win in the National Hockey League and we’ve just gone six periods without a goal. - Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano
“I thought we came out and had our chances early, but again, two games back-to-back without a goal,” Capuano said. “I didn’t think we played poorly, we just have to find a way to score some goals. You have to score two or three goals a night to win in the National Hockey League and we’ve just gone six periods without a goal.”

The important thing for the Islanders now is not to get too down on themselves as they try to find a way out of their current predicament.

“We just have to try to stay with it,” Tavares said. “We have to stay together in this room. The most important thing is the guys that are here, there’s still a lot of season left to be played so we have to try to correct our mistakes. The last two games are unacceptable and so is losing. We just have to try to stay together, move forward and get ready for Wednesday.”

Nilsson makes first NHL start

Coming just two days after he was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, Islanders rookie goaltender Anders Nilsson made his first NHL start Monday night. He made 31 saves in the loss.

“It’s hard to be satisfied with the game tonight,” Nilsson said of his first NHL start. “I let in five goals and I should have had at least two or three goals I think. It wasn’t a very good game. I know I can play better than this.”

Though he feels he can play better, he’s viewing the game as a learning experience.

“The tempo and the speed and everything happens a lot quicker up here, so it’s almost like night and day compared to the American League,” Nilsson said. “It’s going to take some adjustment before I get used to everything up here.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 50 20 23 -2 43
K. Okposo 51 15 28 -9 43
F. Nielsen 53 15 19 -1 34
B. Nelson 53 20 11 -1 31
M. Grabovski 53 9 16 3 25
A. Lee 53 9 15 0 24
J. Bailey 52 9 15 4 24
N. Leddy 53 3 21 -7 24
R. Strome 42 6 15 -4 21
C. Cizikas 53 5 12 5 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 13 11 4 .918 2.27
T. Greiss 15 6 2 .929 2.24
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