Islanders goaltending struggles in 5-4 overtime loss to Canucks

 

There has been one overriding question asked about the Islanders. Is their goaltending good enough to help the team reach the Stanley Cup playoffs in an 82-game season?

The question will continue to be asked, following a shaky performance by Evgeni Nabokov in the Islanders’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Canucks Tuesday night and head coach Jack Capuano’s comments postgame.

“I’m not going to discuss the goaltending,” Capuano said when asked if he was troubled by the play in net.

But he later revealed backup Kevin Poulin would “get his chance shortly.“

“If he plays well, he’s going to play more,” Capuano said.

While the season is still in its formative stages, the fact that Capuano hinted Poulin could take some starts away from Nabokov could portend a goaltending controversy.

“It’s a long season,” Nabokov said. “It’s a process. We have to continue to work hard.”

Last night, in a game that resembled a track meet, Nabokov allowed all five goals on 33 shots with the biggest being Brad Richardson’s game-winner with 2:44 left in overtime. Richardson drove to the net and shoveled Kevin Bieksa’s initial shot past Nabokov.

“I thought they were doing a pretty good job,” Nabokov said of the Canucks’ crease-crashing. “Sometimes it’s hard to move laterally with someone on top of you.”

Even with the loss, the Islanders earned a point. They trail Carolina by two points for second in the Metropolitan Division, but have lost five of six.

“Anytime you get a point in this league it’s big but [we] need to [find a way to] get the other point,” Matt Martin said. “We know we can play a lot better.”

That belief left the Islanders feeling frustrated, even though they generated enough offensively to win.

Brock Nelson opened the scoring 2:26 into the match by backhanding Peter Regin’s rebound past Roberto Luongo for his first NHL goal.

A flurry around Luongo 2:15 after Nelson’s goal saw Matt Moulson score his fourth of the season, and gave the Islanders a 2-0 advantage.

It didn’t last.

Ryan Kesler halved the deficit six seconds after Moulson’s goal, and Daniel Sedin drew the Canucks even at 9:09 with his third of the season. Sedin finished a 2-on-1 rush with Jannik Hansen with a shot from the left face-off circle.

The teams continued alternating goals in the second.

Moulson’s second goal of the game — both coming on the power play — put the Islanders ahead, 4-3. The Islanders finished 2-for-4 with the man advantage, while killing both of Vancouver’s power plays.

The Islanders benefitted from Vancouver’s newfound aggressiveness when Zack Kassian’s apparent goal midway through the second period was waived off due to Mike Santorelli colliding with Nabokov.

But like the first period, they Islanders couldn’t grow their lead and it cost them when Henrik Sedin tied the game at 3-3 with 7:11 left in the second. The Canucks captain tapped in his brother’s goalmouth feed for his third goal of the season.

The Sedins finished with three points (two goals and an assist) and a combined plus-5 rating.

Vancouver went into the second intermission with a 4-3 lead when Smithtown’s Chris Higgins shoved a Kevin Bieksa rebound past Nabokov with 18 seconds left in the period.

“To give up a goal with 15 seconds left is tough,” Nabokov said.

Frans Nielsen snapped a rebound of an Andrew MacDonald shot past Luongo with 1:12 left in regulation to tie the game at 4-4. Luongo finished with 28 saves.

Follow NHL beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Arts

EXCLUSIVE: Backstage with Adam Jacobs at 'Aladdin' on…

Metro shadowed Adam Jacobs backstage at "Aladdin" on Broadway.

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…