UNIONDALE, NY— Martin Biron is not a starting pitcher despite needing a glove for his job. Yet the Islanders goalie could be forgiven if he sometimes
feels like a hurler who receives little run support.
Biron is winless in his last six starts and 2-10-2 overall in his first season since signing as a free agent. But the ledger doesn’t mean
a poor performance on the part of the 11-year veteran. The Islanders have scored just seven total goals during the six-game stretch while Biron has surrendered three goals or fewer in four of those contests.
A sputtering offense is a leading culprit for the Isles current slide. The club enters Monday night’s home game against Tampa Bay losers of six of its last eight games has scored four goals in a game just once this month,
when the Islanders beat Atlanta 4-1 on Dec. 3.
Matt Moulson said the forwards are eager to help Biron post his first victory since he led the team to an overtime win over Carolina Nov. 13.
“It’s embarrassing,” Moulson said. “He plays his heart out every
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game and we don’t give him the support he needs. We don’t get him goals. He’s facing good looks all the time. We have to be there for him.”
Biron started the season in a platoon with Dwayne Roloson. With the campaign nearing the midway point, Roloson is working towards solidifying the depth chart’s No. 1 spot with a 2.91 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Biron carries a 3.30 GAA and a .897 save percentage into Monday night.
Rick DiPietro is expected back with the team this week and could see action soon depending on how fast he recovers from leg tightness. DiPietro’s return could put Biron on the trading block, though the former Flyers and Sabres netminder said he’s only concerned with helping the team move back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
“All the guys are trying but in the end it’s more than just trying getting a win for me,” Biron said. “It’s trying to get wins for the team and get ourselves going in the right direction. It isn’t coming easy right now.”
Biron made 25 saves against Montreal Saturday night. The rest of the team couldn’t muster a single goal against Canadiens backup Jarolsav Halak in a 3-0 loss at Nassau Coliseum. Islanders coach Scott Gordon was supportive of Biron after the game.
“I would like to think Marty came off this game feeling pretty good,” Gordon said. “Even though he didn’t get the win, he didn’t get any goals. He had a good performance. I thought he played really well.”