Lubomir Visnovsky scored a goal and an assist as the New York Islanders built a 2-0 lead, but were unable to hold on, losing 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the shootout Saturday at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders complete their opening weekend earning three out of a possible four points.
Head coach Jack Capuano said his team didn’t battle back hard enough after losing some momentum in the third period.
“I was a little disappointed in the third period,” Capuano said. “Things were going well until they ramped it up and we didn't respond collectively as a group the way we needed to.”
The Islanders capitalized on the game’s first power play midway through the second period. Frans Nielsen fed Visnovsky at the point for a one-time rocket past Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at 8:17.
Five minutes later, Matt Moulson doubled the Islanders lead with his first marker of the season. John Tavares’ blind backhand pass from the right corner found Moulson in front, and the left wing beat Bobrovsky from close range with a quick deke.
“It was good work by Kyle on the wall,” Tavares said. “He was doing some battling. It was kind of a broken play off the faceoff. Lubo made a good play to keep it in and it's pretty easy to know where Matty is. I thought I could surprise the D and I just tried to get it on his tape.”
The Islanders held Columbus off the board for 47 minutes, but a Blue Jackets power-play goal in the third broke the shutout. Mark Letestu cleaned up a second chance in front of Evgeni Nabokov to cut the Islanders lead to 2-1 at the 7:45 mark. Four minutes later, RJ Umberger drove the net, and Nick Foligno hacked away at the rebound to tie the contest at 2-2.
“We were too cautious,” Nabokov said. “They got the momentum after they scored that power play goal. They kept coming and got a little bit lucky.”
A late Islanders power play carried into the overtime session, but did not yield a winner despite heavy pressure on the Columbus goal. Nabokov made five stops in overtime and finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots.
In the shootout, Letestu scored for Columbus in the bottom of the second round. Moulson countered on a forehand in the top of the third round to keep the contest alive, but Cam Atkinson netted the game-deciding goal in the fourth round.
The Islanders stay in New York for their next contest, Tuesday, Oct. 8 when the Phoenix Coyotes pay a visit. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
John Tavares’ assist in the second period marked the 250th point of his career, passing David Volek to move into sole possession of 23rd place on the franchise’s all-time leader board … Frans Nielsen led all players with five shots on goal … Andrew MacDonald led the Islanders in ice time for the second straight night with 25:58, and also led all players with seven blocked shots … The Islanders won the faceoff battle 31-30, with Casey Cizikas (11-of-14, 79-percent) leading the way … Matt Martin led all players with seven hits
New York Islanders
60 Kevin Poulin
Columbus Blue Jackets
13 Cam Atkinson - 17 Brandon Dubinsky - 10 Marian Gaborik
11 Matt Calvert - 42 Artem Anisimov - 14 Blake Comeau
71 Nick Foligno - 19 Ryan Johansen - 18 RJ Unberger
38 Boone Jenner - 24 Derek MacKenzie - 55 Mark Letestu
47 Dalton Prout - 7 Jack Johnson
58 David Savard - 6 Nikita Nikitin
27 Ryan Murray - 21 James Wisniewski
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
31 Curtis McElhinney