REGINA, Sask. – Despite a goal and an assist each from John Tavares and Matt Moulson, the Islanders fell 4-2 to the Calgary Flames in asplit-squad preseason game at Brandt Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano summed up the loss by giving plenty of credit to the opposition.
“They played better than us tonight. They got more bodies and pucks to the net than we did,” said Capuano.
A largely uneventful first period was highlighted by a fight 1:59 into the opening frame between Islanders Brett Gallant and Calgary’s Brian McGrattan. Gallant finished last season with 202 PIM’s for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the 9th most in the American Hockey League.
The second period ultimately is where the Flames carried the play, finishing the period with a 4-1 lead.
Calgary’s 2013 sixth overall pick, Sean Monahan opened the scoring 1:01 into the second, beating Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov on his glove side.
Monahan then found himself in the penalty box just over 30 seconds later when he was called for boarding. The Islanders captain, John Tavares took advantage of the power play. After Flames goaltender Karri Ramo denied Moulson twice from the slot, Tavares tapped home a rebound from the right side of the crease. Forward Colin McDonald picked up the secondary assist.
The tie score was short-lived as the Flames regained the lead just over three minutes later and would tack on two more goals before the end of the middle frame.
“We didn’t do the little things that help you win games,” said Tavares. “We’re going to have to be better at getting bodies to the net and creating turnovers the rest of the preseason. We understand that those are parts of the game that are going to have to be there if we’re going to be successful.”
The Islanders managed to tally once in the third period as the three-time 30-goal scorer, Moulson, scored his first of the preseason. This time it was Tavares providing the primary assist as Moulson stood in the slot redirecting the captain’s pass from the right faceoff circle.
“We had a few good power plays and as the game went on I thought our line did good things,” said Tavares. Summer acquisition, Pierre-March Bouchard, played on the right wing of Moulson and Tavares.
It won’t be long until the Islanders have an opportunity to fix the mistakes from Regina. The Islanders will play their first full-squad preseason game on Thursday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ against the Devils.
New York Islanders
35 Ken Reiter