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Written by Roberto Scalia | 16 March 2012



Coming off two straight painful losses with blown leads late in the third, the Islanders playoff hopes looked bleak, but that doesn’t mean they were gonna stop trying to win games. Last night the Islanders came out head to head with the Flyers, but luck was on the Flyers’ side last night, as Rinaldo skated into the corner, put it on net and just happened to find a very small hole in Nabokov’s positioning to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

Later in the period, Jaromir Jagr would completely outwork, Islander captain, Mark Streit and find partner Claude Giroux all alone in the slot. Giroux would fire a one-timer right past Nabokov and make it 2-0. The lead would hold up through the first, and in a period where the Islanders were staying with the opposition, the concluding of opportunities is what allowed one team to be in the lead, and the other to be trailing.

There wouldn’t be too much difference in the second, as most of it was spent battling back and forth, until Scott Hartnell got loose on a breakaway and fired a perfect shot right over Nabokov’s glove to make it 3-0. It seemed like a 5th straight loss would be inevitable, and then the third period started.

Unlike the usual events, this time it was the Islanders making a comeback as Michael Grabner finally got one past the stone wall now known as Ilya Bryzgalov, who set the Flyer record for most minutes without letting up a goal last night, as he deflected a shot from the point right past him. Only 35 seconds later, it was Mark Streit outbattling the opposition, putting it in front, where John Tavares fired it in for his 31st of the season and 70th point, the first Islander to reach the amount since Alexei Yashin did it 10 years ago.

The comeback would end there however, as no matter what the Islanders tried with the extra skater, they just couldn’t get that third one past Bryzgalov.

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Written by Christian A. | 15 March 2012



Bruce Ratner, co-owner of the Nets and head of Forest City Ratner, made a surprise appearance on the Islanders telecast to discuss the Islanders game in Brooklyn.

“The Islanders need to stay in New York,” Ratner told Howie Rose during the first intermission.

The Barclays Center will host a preseason game in October between the Islanders and New Jersey Devils. Fans and media have seen the game as the team testing the waters in Brooklyn.

One of the main concerns for the Brooklyn arena has been the sightlines, but Ratner assured that, while the arena was built for basketball, hockey would be right at home as well.

“It will be a great hockey venue,” Ratner said. “You’ll feel like your right on top of the actions.”

Though some seats will have a bad view, but 14-15,000 people will have a good view.

Another concern addressed was the parking, in which the minority Nets owner said there was plenty of. He said there were eight to ten parking lots around the arena and mentioned the Long Island Rail Road as another option.

Below is the full interview that aired:



(Tell us what you think in the comments section.)


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Written by Christian A. | 15 March 2012



The Islanders are back in action tonight when they’ll host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Coliseum.

New York has won two of the four matchups these teams have had against each other. The Flyers downed the Isles 6-3 two weeks ago at the Wells Fargo Center. The Islanders took an early 1-0 lead, but the Flyers managed to take the lead in the first and added four more goals after that.

Tonight, the Islanders will send  Evgeni Nabokov to start in net against the Flyers. Marty Reasoner and Steve Staios will be the scratches tonight. Below is the Islanders lineup for tonight:

Forwards
Moulson-Tavares-Okposo
Grabner-Nielsen-Parenteau
Ullstrom-Bailey-Niederreiter
Martin-Cizikas-Pandolfo

Defenseman
Hamonic-MacDonals
Reese-Streit
Eaton-Jurcina

Below is the Flyers possible lineup (via the Islanders website):

Forwards
Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr
Wellwood-Briere-Voracek
Read-Schenn-Simmonds
Talbot-Couturier-Rinaldo

Defensemen 
Timonen-Carle
Coburn-Grossmann
Lilja-Gustafsson

Goaltenders
Bryzgalov, Bobrovsky

Pre-Game Video:

Instead of the pre-game reading links, here is video shot by Stacy Podelski of Examiner.com from this morning’s morning skate. 





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Written by Christian A. | 14 March 2012



Uniondale, NY --
Overshadowed by last night’s loss were the milestones set by Matt Moulson and John Tavares, who both scored their 30th goals of the season.

It’s very fitting that they would both hit the milestone on the same night. Both started with the Islanders the same year and have risen to fame playing on the same line as one another. Not to mention, they’ve known each other longer than they’ve been playing together.

For Moulson it was his third straight season reaching the 30-goal plateau, while for Tavares it was the first time in his career.

“I’ve always said, it’s more of a credit to the guys I play with,” Moulson said about reaching the milestone. “I’ve had the opportunity to play with Johnny for the last couple years, and PA, and Okie over the last three seasons.  They’re great players and I’m not the type of guy that does a lot on my own. It’s got to be in the right place and those guys get puck there, so it’s a testament to that. Johnny is one of the best players in the league and it’s pretty easy playing with him and getting goals.”

Tavares was quick to compliment Moulson on his latest achievement.

“Since he got here three years ago no one expected a lot from him and…he’s come through a lot to get where he’s at,” he said about his friend and line mate. “Just his consistency and his ability to come through when we need him and…do a lot of little things. He blocks a lot of shots and he takes a beating in front of the net, but he sacrifices and that’s why he gets rewarded.”

The 21-year-old center said Moulson has helped relieve pressure off him when he’s in a tough matchup.

“He’s so great at getting his stick on pucks,” Tavares said. “Whether it’s in battles and especially in front. I know when I’m able to draw some pressure I can find him in front of the net and he’s going to be there to put them away. That’s what he’s been so good for me for is helping me relieve pressure when I’m seeing tough matchups and he’s able to capitalize on the open space.”

The 30-goal mark is a career high for Tavares, one that will likely be broken in the next several games, and one of the few bright spots to come out of last night’s game.

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Written by Christian A. | 14 March 2012



Uniondale, NY --
Even with John Tavares scoring two goals and Travis Hamonic having a three-point night, the Islanders could not pull out a win and fell to the Washington Capitals 5-4 in the shootout.

The Islanders had a 4-1 lead before the Capitals scored three unanswered goals to tie the game in the third period. The loss marks the eighth time this season that the Islanders have blown a lead of two or more goals and ninth time they’ve lost when leading after two periods.

“We were playing a really good game tonight,” said a frustrated Travis Hamonic, who scored a goal and two assists in the loss. “It seemed they got a late one and then one early one to start the third. Maybe the wheels didn’t come off, but we got on our heels and just kind of down hill from there.”

“We know we should have had it locked up and we got to win this game,” He added later.

The Islanders opened the scoring at the 8:56 mark, scoring a wacky goal on Caps starting Michal Neuvirth. Matt Moulson’s shot went wide of the net, caromed off the glass, bounced off Neuvirth and into the net. Tavares was originally credited with the goal, but a scoring change was later made giving Moulson his 30th of the season.

Travis Hamonic added a second goal for the Islanders and Tavares added to the lead in the second period. Mike Knuble scored for the capitals at the 9:33 mark of the second period, 28 seconds after Tavares scored to cut it to a three-goal lead. Tavares made it 4-1 less than two minutes later. It was his 30th goal of the season and a new career high for the 21 year old.

But things took an all to familiar turn for the Islanders as the second period came to a close.

Alexander Ovechkin scored with less than a minute left. Then, Dmitry Orlov scored 1:51 into the third period to make it a one-goal game. Ovechkin tied the game midway through the period with his second goal of the night.

Matt Hendricks completed the Capitals’ comeback in the shootout scoring in the eight round to win the game.

“The last three periods of the last three games…it’s really unacceptable the way we’ve come out and not play the game we played during the forty minutes,” Tavares said. “We got to compete harder in those areas late in the game, play with confidence, play our game, and we’ve been in those situations before and we’ve won hockey games, so I don’t know why these last three have been like that.”

Islanders’ head coach Jack Capuano did night like his teams decision making late in the game,

“It’s your discipline and your decision making with the puck and that’s what hurts you,” he said after the game. “You have to make intelligent decisions when you have the puck on your stick and you have to recognize who your up against. We talked about (Alexander) Ovechkin all night and he was able to get a couple of chances and when he did it was in the back of the net.”

Capuano was specifically referencing both Ovechkin goals, which the Islanders allowed to make his way to the net undetected or gave him two or three chances after his initial shot.

“We had this one in good control, we were playing really good hockey, and [we] kind of eased up a bit and they put a couple in and they kept coming,” Moulson said. “I don’t know if there is one particular thing that lead to them scoring. I don’t really know exactly what the break down was, but it seems like we let up a little bit and they came back. They’re a good offensive team and put a couple in.”

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Written by Christian A. | 13 March 2012



The Islanders will host the Washington Capitals tonight for the final time this season at the Nassau Coliseum.

Coming into tonight’s game, the Isles won have two the three matchups between the two teams. They won 5-3 back on November 5 and again defeated the Capitals, this time 3-0, on January 17. The only loss to the Caps came back on February 28, when they fell 3-2 in overtime at the Verizon Center.

The Caps and Islanders are headed in two different directions as the season winds to a close. The Capitals are trying to recapture the lead in the Southeast Division, while the Islanders are again playing for pride in the final 13 games of the season.

The Islanders saw the playoff hopes dashed after dropping two straight games against the New Jersey Devils. The Islanders were blown out 5-1 at the Prudential Center on Thursday night. Then blew a late 1-0 lead allowing the Devils to win in the final two minutes of the game.

They followed that up by losing to the New York Rangers in overtime, 4-3, on Sunday night.

The Islanders will start Evgeni Nabokov Vs. Caps and will be without PA Parenteau, who is out with an upper body injury.

Below is the Islanders lineup for tonight:

Moulson-Tavares-Okposo
Grabner-Nielsen-Bailey
Ullstrom-Cizikas-Niederreiter
Martin-Reasoner-Pandolfo

Washington has won three straight games, defeating the Lightning 3-2, the Bruins 4-3 and the Maple Leafs 2-0.

Below is the Capitals expected lineup according the Islanders website:

Forwards: Johansson-Laich-Ovechkin

Chimera-Perreault-Semin
Hendricks-Beagle-Troy Brouwer
Knuble-Aucoin-Ward

Defensemen: Alzner-Carlson
Schultz-Wideman
Orlov-Hamrlik

Goaltenders:
Vokoun, Neuvirth

Pre-Game Reading

The Islanders are trying to keep their chins up during the final weeks of the season, even though they aren’t making the post season. (Newsday)

Fans started to receive their season ticket renewal letters and they are not happy. According to season ticket holders, prices are going up next season and with another playoff-less season coming to a close fans have had enough (Islanders Point Blank)

Lighthouse Hockey has you covered with some more pre-game reading. (Lighthouse Hockey)

Jesse Spector looks into the numbers relating between fighting and concussions and how the 3% number is not accurate. (Sporting News)

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Written by Christian A. | 12 March 2012



The Islanders fell to the New York Rangers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden last night. Here are the morning headlines from the loss:

Gaborik’s OT Goal Snaps Rangers’ 3-Game Skid - Associated Press

Gaborik’s OT Goal Lifts Rangers Past Islanders - Newsday

Isles’ Penalty Kill Lets Them Down - Newsday

Haley Back to Give Isles Physical Presence - Newsday

Rangers Beat Islanders - NY Daily News

Rangers Defeat Islanders in OT - NY Post

More One-Goal Leads, Lost - Lighthouse Hockey

Rangers 4, Islanders 3, OT - New York Islanders

Six Seconds of Separation - New York Islanders

Rangers 4, Islanders 3, OT - New York Rangers Blog

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