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Islanders 4, Stars 2: Postgame Wrap-Up

The Recap: The Islanders won in dramatic fashion, coming from behind to beat the Dallas Stars 4-2. It was the Isles fourth straight win and seventh consecutive win on the road.

The Stars opened up the scoring in the first period. Ray Whitney scored at 11:45 to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. Sergei Gonchar capitalized off a turnover by Brock Nelson in the Islanders end to make it 2-0 Stars. The Isles battled back in the second period, Kyle Okposo cut the lead to just one after scoring at 10:47.

Okposo scored again in the third to tie the game at 15:44. John Tavares scored the game winner nearly three minutes later. Calvin de Haan sent a no look pass to Tavares, who was in front of the net and beat Dan Ellis. Brock Nelson scored an empty net goal in the final minute of the game to secure the win.

The Good: 

– The Islanders once again showed resilience in the face of adversity. After falling behind two goals the Islanders battled back to win. There was no quit in the Islanders like what was seen during the tough times of November and December.

-Calvin de Haan was fantastic for the Islanders Sunday night. He saw 22:52 of game action and made the most of all of it. The rookie defenseman has not looked out of place once since arriving and has held his composure in tough situations. In one instance Sunday, de Haan was caught covering on a two on one Dallas rush. de Haan covered the play perfectly and was able to break up the scoring chance. He also finished the game plus-2 and had two points on the night.

– The Islanders top line has played very well as of late and is capitalizing on chances. Kyle Okposo scored both goals to get the Isles back into the game and John Tavares had the game-winner. He could have had several other goals, but some illegal plays by the Stars, which went unpenalized by the officials, broke up the score chances he had.

The Bad: 

– The Islanders have become masters at coming from behind, but there are only so many times that they will be able to do that. One thing that should be corrected going forward is starting off games better. In the first period, the Isles allowed Dallas too many offensive opportunities and shots on net. They were outshot 16-9 in the first period. Coming from behind is fun and dramatic, but it might be easier to win a game by opening the game off strong and not have to fight back.

– The officials on Sunday were not dreadful, but the clearly missed calls I mentioned earlier in this post were terrible. If the Islanders didn’t win you could look back on the Tavares scoring chance, which was broken up by a Dallas player slashing his stick into two, as key point in the game. There was also a missed high sticking call later in the game on Tavares as well. Luckily none of those incidents affected the outcome of the game, but you can tell that each time something like that goes uncalled Tavares gets more and more agitated by it.

Next Game: Tuesday, January 14, @ Florida Panthers


New York Islander Game Notes: Islanders @ Dallas


New York Islanders (17-22-7) @ Dallas Stars (20-17-7)
Sunday, January 12, 2014 | 6 p.m.
American Airlines Center | Dallas, Texas 

The Islanders look to record their fourth win in a row, and their seventh straight win on the road, tonight in Dallas.

It will be the second and final meeting between the two squads and the second time they have faced each other in less than a week. On Monday the Islanders defeated the Stars 7-3 at Nassau Coliseum, in a contest that saw Ryan Strome record his first career NHL goal and John Tavares record the hat trick.

Islander Coach Jack Capuano will have Kevin Poulin in net and will have the same lineup on the ice as they had on Friday when they beat Colorado 2-1 in OT. Matt Carkner, Eric Boulton and Peter Regin will be scratched for tonight’s game.

The Stars and Islanders are teams going in two opposite directions coming into tonight’s contest. Dallas has dropped their last five games, including falling 3-2 to the New York Rangers on Friday. In contrast, The Islanders are 6-1-0 in their last seven games. Also, the Islanders three-game winning streak is tied for the longest win streak they’ve had this season.

Tonight’s Lineup 

Thomas Vanek –  John Tavares – Kyle Okposo
Brock Nelson –  Frans Nielsen –  Josh Bailey
Michael Grabner  – Ryan Strome – Cal Clutterbuck
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Colin McDonald

Andrew MacDonald – Brian Strait
Calvin de Haan – Travis Hamonic
Matt Donovan – Thomas Hickey

Could Changes be Coming to Isles Defense?

Jack Capuano wasn’t mincing his words after Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at home to the New York Rangers. Capuano spent most of his one minute and 24 second post-game press conference calling out his team’s defense and even hinted at a possible call up happening.

“Think about calling up a guy and putting him in the lineup. I don’t know,” Capuano said, when asked about what can be done to prevent defensive mistakes. “Same mistakes can’t happen. We only have six of them back there.”

The Islanders defense struggled for most of the game. Several defensive breakdowns throughout the game and sloppy play in their own end cost the Islanders in the end.

“Our D have to play better. That’s the bottom line tonight,” Capuano commented. “We need to win more wall battles as our forwards, but our defense has to find a way to play better.”

Now it’s unclear if the Islanders will make a call up in response to last night’s game, but the team has suffered with two injuries on the back end. The Islanders have been without Lubomir visnovsky and Brian Strait due to injuries.

Both Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic have stepped up in their place. Tuesday night MacDonald logged 26:55 of total ice time, which led the team in ice time, and Travis Hamonic played 24:18.

The most likely Bridgeport Sound Tiger to get a call up, should one happen, would be Calvin de Haan, Aaron Ness, or Joe Finely, who was sent down on waivers in September.

The Morning Skate: 10/29

The Islanders take on the New York Rangers tonight at the Coliseum, but yesterday was all about Thomas Vanek. Below are all the Islander stories you’ll need to get you through the day:

Islanders happy Thomas Vanek is on board — Newsday

Trade of Matt Moulson sends message to Islanders — Newsday

Thomas Vanek trade shows Islanders mean business this season — NY Daily News

Vanek joins Islanders; no extension talks — NY Post

For the Islanders, the future is now — NY Post

Why Islanders GM thinks Thomas Vanek is a good gamble — CBC

Can Garth Snow sell Thomas Vanek on NY Islanders’ future? — Puck Daddy

Islanders fan retires Matt Moulson’s number in his bedroom (Video) — Puck Daddy

Thomas Vanek: I didn’t want to be part of Sabres’ rebuild — Puck Daddy

Garth Snow Reiterates: “You Need To Give Something To Get Something” — Eyes on Isles

Thomas Vanek Laces Up For First Practice As A New York Islander — Eyes on Isles

Trade For Sniper Vanek Shows Islanders Finally Mean Business — WFAN


DiPietro Signs PTO with Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed former New York Islander goaltender Rick DiPietro to a professional Tryout Contract, the News & Observer has confirmed.

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks was the first to report the story.

“It could be a safety net and give us more depth,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford told the New & Observer.  “At this point it’s a tryout. We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in, how his health is, how he plays.”

Di{ietro will begin practicing with the Hurricanes AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers,  this week and will play several games towards the end of the week.

The Islanders used their compliance buyout on DiPietro in July, after being hampered by injuries since 2008. The 32-year-old goaltender played 18 games last season for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. There he posted a 9-9 record, with a .893 save percentage and 2.93 goals against average.

Earlier in the week the Hurricanes announced that Cam Ward would miss the next three to four weeks with a lower body injury.

The Morning Skate: 10/17

Here are all the Islander stories to get you through the morning:

Cal Clutterbuck shows Isles fans what he can do — Newsday 

Islanders captain Tavares seeks Olympic spot —

Playing the Right Way — NY Islanders

‘Bash Bros’ Martin and Clutterbuck United in Loss to Buffalo — Islanders Point Blank

It’s An Awfully Long Season Boys : Take A Breath — Eyes on Isles

Putting The Isles’ 2013-14 Season In Context (So Far) — Eyes on Isles

The Dump and Chase Podcast Ep. 5 — Dump and Chase Podcast

“Raising An Olympian” John Tavares — Hockeybuzz

The Con Man Who Almost Took The Islanders — Anton News

And finally, the trailer for Kevin Connolly’s documentary on John Spano, Big Shot, is out. The film premiers on Tuesday, October 22nd, at 8 pm on ESPN:

Isles set 23-Man Roster

In case you haven’t seen it, here is the Islanders opening day roster:

Josh Bailey
Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Eric Boulton
Casey Cizikas
Michael Grabner
Matt Martin
Colin McDonald
Matt Moulson
Brock Nelson
Frans Nielsen
Kyle Okposo
Peter Regin
John Tavares
Matt Carkner
Matt Donovan
Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey
Andrew MacDonald
Griffin Reinhart
Brian Strait
Lubomir Visnovsky
Evgeni Nabokov
Kevin Poulin