22 October 2011
The Islanders went 0-2 during their two game road trip to Florida, with their most recent loss coming tonight against the Florida Panthers.
The Islanders managed to keep the game close up until the very end, although the team played another game in which their offense was less than par to what it should be. Through two periods the Islanders recorded just 10 shots on net. Their opponents had 24. And it wasn’t until the third period that the Islanders found the desperation that they should have had through the first two periods.
Mark Streit put the Islanders in the lead 1:01 into the first period on a power play goal. The Islanders would not sustain the offensive pressure and allowing the Panthers to control the play for a majority of the first and second period. The Panthers eventually tied the game up at one off a Kris Versteeg goal.
In the second the Panthers captured the lead off a backhand goal by Matt Bradley at 13:39. The goal lit a spark underneath the Islanders and they managed to tie the game on a power play goal by John Tavares. At 14:32. Mark Streit placed directed a shot at the stick of Tavares and he was able to redirect the shot past Jose Theodore. The Panthers regained the lead in the third period after a tip in goal by Tim Kennedy four minutes in. They sealed the win with an empty net goal by Shawn Matthias in the final minute of the game for a 4-2 victory over the Islanders.
This is the second game in a row the Islanders have looked flat for a large portion of a game and have been unable to sustain any pressure on an opponent. The lack of offense is now a major concern for the Islanders, especially with a home and home against the Penguins this coming week.
However, the Islanders did have a successful night on special teams. The penalty kill unit killed both Panther power play opportunities and the power play unit scored both New York Islanders goals in the game. They were able to sustain pressure on the Florida Panthers when they were out there, but late in the game they could not produce a goal when they needed to the most. A large part of that has to do with the goaltending of Jacob Markstrom, who came into the game late and stopped al 18 shots he faced. Markstrom made key saves during the Islanders 5 on 3 and 5 on 4 power play opportunities late in the game.
Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau, who played 12:18 and 13:42 respectively, were relatively unnoticeable through most of the game. Comeau did have good scoring opportunity early in the game, but did not play the way he should have played after sitting the past two games in the press box.
The Islanders come back home to face the Penguins on Tuesday, expect some changes to be made between now and then to fix the lack of offensive production.
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