Rangers-Islanders Notebook: Avery mixes it up, Capuano makes changes

It was not a surprise that Tuesday night’s game at the Nassau Coliseum had an instance of hostility and oddness. Nor was it a shock that Sean Avery was involved.

What was unusual was the lack of communication by referees Dan O’Rourke or Chris Rooney after Avery was sent to the Rangers dressing room with 56 seconds remaining in the first period following a collision with Islanders defenseman Mike Mottau. Avery and Mottau exchanged words after the hit, but linesmen Greg Devorski and Brian Murphy interceded before a fight could occur. Both Avery and Mottau were assessed two minute minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. Mottau finished the period in the Islanders penalty box.

“I think [the media] should start calling and asking [the NHL] and then you can send me an explanation,” Avery said when asked by Metro if he had received an explanation from O’Rourke or Rooney as to why he was sent off instead of finishing the period in the box.

“They shouldn’t have called either one a penalty,” John Tortorella added. “Let them play. That’s what I thought. I looked at the tape … it’s not worth discussing. They should have let them play. They shouldn’t have called a penalty on either one of them.”

The two fought when their roughing penalties expired 69 seconds into the second period. It was Mottau’s first fight since Oct. 22, 2009 — a gap of 754 days — when the then-New Jersey Devil fought Avery.

The Avery-Mottau bout was the first of two fights on the night. Brandon Prust fought Matt Martin at 2:54 of the second in response to a hard Martin check and subsequent crosscheck to Steve Eminger.

Capuano changes lineup

Following Sunday’s loss in Vancouver, Jack Capuano vowed “the lineup is going to have to change” if the Islanders could not “find the will to compete every single night.”

Capuano did not wait another game before making personnel changes as Mark Eaton, Kyle Okposo and Rick DiPietro were scratched. Eaton had played in every Islanders game this season prior to last night, and the Islanders rotate playing time with three goaltenders.

The decision to sit Okposo is interesting. The Islanders view Okposo as the power forward to complement the skill of John Tavares, yet he had not scored a goal this season and was minus-seven with six penalty minutes.

Goaltender shuffle

Goaltending controversy? What goaltending controversy?

Okay, maybe not.

The Islanders, who are attempting to find playing time for Evgeni Nabokov, Al Montoya and Rick DiPietro at the NHL level, announced Tuesday afternoon that Mikko Koskinen was shipped to KalPa of the Finnish Elite League. Koskinen had been splitting time at AHL Bridgeport with Anders Nilsson (5-2-0, 2.86, .908 in seven games) and Kevin Poulin (3-3-0, 4.06, .874 in six games). He was 0-2-0 with a 2.82 goals against average and .909 save percentage in three games.

Niederreiter gets on ice

Nino Niederreiter made his 2011-12 season debut last night. Niederreiter, the fifth-overall pick in the 2010 draft, had missed the Islanders’ first 14 games of the season as he rehabbed an injured groin. Niederreiter, who was called up from AHL Bridgeport on Monday, was plus-four with three goals and an assist in six games with the Sound Tigers.  

He finished with a shot on goal in 11:17 of ice time.

Notes

» Ryan Callahan played in his 300th NHL game last night.

» The Islanders entered last night’s game with a 4-3-1 record at the Coliseum. The record is 12th in the Eastern Conference and ranks 22nd in the NHL. However, with four of their remaining seven games in November at the Coliseum, this stretch could be an opportunity for the Islanders to begin to develop a home-ice advantage and get out of the bottom four of the Eastern Conference.

Follow NHL writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Report: NYPD disbands controversial Muslim surveillance program

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the police unit behind NYPD's Muslim surveillance program was disbanded.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.