October 30, 2011

What a mess! As Isles fall to Sharks 3-2

One of the phrases heard around Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, from both the employees and the fans, was ‘What a mess!’ As not only the weather, but the officiating cost the New York Islanders (3-5-1) in the 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks (6-3-0).
It was not only the weather, but the officiating as the guys in stripes cost the Islanders a shot at two points against a very good Western Conference Sharks team.  The main piece of good news from the arena for Islanders fans is that they skated well for three periods against a team that has been in the playoffs.

That was something head coach Jack Capuano emphasized afterward saying, “It was a good hockey team that we played tonight, one of the better teams in the league, and I thought for three periods, we skated with them. We did a lot of good things, and that is one thing that we have to take out of this game.”

New York had fought hard throughout responding to a 1-0 deficit after Joe Pavelski gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at the 0:17 mark of the first period of play. The Islanders responded back in the second period, when John Tavares (7) tallied a power play goal at the 3:15 mark.

“This one is a tough one to swallow, especially what happened at the end, “Tavares said. Of trying to snap the current losing streak, “We just need to try and understand that we’ve done a lot of good things tonight.  Our game has come a long way. If we keep playing the way we did tonight, we are going to win a lot more hockey games.”

For Tavares six of the seven points scored thus far this season have been on home ice, the forward was strong throughout the night, earning the second star of the game thanks to his efforts. Michael Graber (3) recorded his first power play goal of the season at the 11:28 mark to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead.
That lead evaporated though on a beautiful shot by San Jose star Logan Couture, who tied things up at the 13:19 mark. After being stalemated in the third period of play, things went into overtime-where the zebra’s made a call they’d probably like to have back.

Twenty-nine seconds into the frame, the referees blew their whistles thinking a puck flew into the crowd calling a crucial penalty against the Islanders. Before the puck went into the crowd though, it first deflected into the glass-which should have led to a face-off in the defensive zone.

In the end the Sharks cashed in on their 4-on-3 opportunity, as Brent Burns (3) scored the game-winning goal at the 1:07 mark.  Making his first appearance on home ice in the cage was Rick DiPietro, who showed flashes of his old form. ‘DP’ made 27 saves in what was a steady, calming game for the Islanders.

“I felt pretty good,” DiPietro said of his first start in the cage. On rebounding after the first goal of the game, “That was nuts, not the way you want to start your first game after a month off. Maybe it was good to get the nerves out and not have to worry about the shutout, get that out of the way.”

The guys will get four days off, before hosting the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, The game is scheduled to air on the MSG Plus 2 network, and face-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.

Stacy Podelski

Notes: Prior to the game the Islanders celebrated the ’92-’93 team, which won the Patrick Division Championships. The team also capped off a month long Islanders Fight Cancer Campaign with a Halloween Basket Auction.

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