The Islanders search for the first win has to wait another game.
Special teams proved to be crucial as two power play goals led the San Jose Sharks to a 4-1 victory over the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.
Matt Moulson started the scoring off and put the Islanders on the board first in the opening frame with a power play goal - his fourth of the season.
With Jody Shelley serving an interference minor, John Tavares skated into the Sharks zone by the half-boards and looked for an open man. While Kyle Okposo found room by the hashmarks, Tavares dished it to the waiting winger, who stopped it with his skate and fired it towards San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
Moulson parked himself right in front of the San Jose netminder and tipped it past Nabokov for the 1-0 lead 15:12 into the opening frame.
The Islanders outplayed the Sharks in every sense of the period, outshooting their opponents, 19-8.
“In the first period we were playing with a lot of pace and that pace resulted in good transition,” Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon said.
However, San Jose answered back quickly in the second period.
With the Islanders holding a one-goal advantage after one period, Patrick Marleau evened up things for the San Jose Sharks on a power play goal 7:50 into the middle frame. It would the first of four unanswered goals for San Jose.
Marleau received a Joe Thornton pass right in between the faceoff circles and quickly backhanded the puck past the glove of Islanders goaltender Martin Biron for his sixth goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
Ryan Vesce then put the San Jose Sharks ahead 16:24 into the second period with his first career NHL goal.
San Jose took advantage of a Radek Martinek turnover behind the Islanders net. Thornton took the puck from a falling Martinek and centered it to a streaking Vesce, who fired the puck over Biron’s shoulder to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead after two periods.
“We allowed their guys to maintain the play,” Biron said. “In the first period, they took the penalties and we were skating. You give that talent they got those two opportunities, they’re not going to miss a whole lot.”
Joe Thornton put the Sharks ahead by two goals just 37 seconds into the third period on a power play goal - his second of the season. Thornton, playing the point on special teams, took a pass from Dan Boyle and ripped a slapshot through traffic and past Biron to give San Jose a 3-1 lead.
“You can’t take a shift off, let alone a period off against a team like that with the players they got,” Moulson said. “It killed us in the end.”
Devin Setoguchi added his fifth goal of the season to pad the Sharks lead to 4-1 late in the third period.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Joe Thornton, SJ: Goal, two assists
2. Evgeni Nabokov: Stopped 31 of 32 shots for the win
3. Kyle Okposo: Assist, 5 shots.
Honorable Mention: Matt Moulson - 6 shots, scored team-leading 4th goal of the season.
Slapshots: Islanders outshot San Jose 32-29...Matt Moulson led all Islanders with 6 shots...Mark Streit led all Islanders with 24:24 of ice time...Kyle Okposo has now scored a point in ever game he’s played (1 goal, 5 assists)...Brendan Witt and Kyle Okposo wore the “A”s as alternate captain...Jeff Tambellini, Bruno Gervais, and Nate Thompson were the Islanders scratches...San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov played in his 500th career NHL game.
1 - 0 NYI
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 SJS
3 - 1 SJS
4 - 1 SJS