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
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.