New York, NY – On Military Appreciation Night the New York Islanders (4-12-3) loss to the Florida Panthers (9-9-0) by the score of 4-1 in hockey action on Saturday night. The Islanders losing streak now stands at 12 games, as it was a sloppy second period of play that cost the Islanders.
“The second period cost us the game tonight,” said Jack Capuano after the game. “The five or six minute laps cost us the game. Florida did a really good job of changing their lines and they were able to capitalize on a lot of our guys being tired.”
Things got on the right foot for the Islanders as Matt Moulson (8) netted the first goal of the game at the 13:07 mark of the first period. Moulson was able to convert on a Panthers turnover, taking that puck and netting a 29 foot wrist shot to give the Islanders a lead.
New York had plenty of opportunities in the first period out shooting the Panthers by a tally of 11-9, while also having a golden 5-on-3 opportunity. The Islanders could not cash in holding on to a slim 1-0 lead at the end of the first period.
As the second period opened up the Islanders continued on their 5-on-3 opportunity but could not cash in. It had seemed as if the Islanders had the offensive momentum until the Panthers pounced in what was a sloppy second period.
“The desperation to win is there,” said coach Capuano. “It is just in that second period you need to win the line changes and they were able to do that. Our guys stayed on the ice for too long and Florida was able to take advantage of that.”
The Panthers pounced for their first goal when Mike Santorelli (5) connected on a 31 foot wrist shot at the 2:27 mark of the second period. It continued on a Marty Reasoner (4) goal at the 3:06 mark. The second panther goal originally credited to Radek Dvorak, but after review from the official statistician they gave the goal to Reasoner who connected on a 43 foot wrist shot for the 2-1 lead.
Much to the displeasure of the 9,157 in attendance Santorelli (6) struck for his second goal of the game, netting the third Florida goal at the 6:25 mark in the second period. The center was able to get a sweet pass from David Booth (6) who did a good job getting the puck right in the Islanders goal crease to the incoming Santorelli who banged it home for the 3-1 lead.
“We had a couple of bad changes and all the sudden its 2-1 then its 3-1,” Moulson said after the game. “And then all the sudden we couldn’t climb back, it doesn‘t matter who it is in the NHL if you give them that type of lead it is hard to make a comeback.”
Florida was able to strike for their fourth goal at the 10:21 mark of the second period when Stephen Weiss (5) connected on a 29 foot wrist shot that was set up by Dmitry Kalikow (3) and Michael Frolik (8) which gave the Panthers the 4-1 edge. Even though the Panthers had the offensive momentum the Islanders were hanging in with their opposition as the two teams were tied in total shots at 19 each.
At the end of the game the Islanders had plenty of offensive opportunities along with the golden 5-on-3 opportunity; New York also had three power play goals that they weren’t able to cash in on.
“We have to play with more passion,” Moulson said after the game. “When we came out in the second period we stopped shooting the puck. That is basically it, is that we weren’t able to get many shots on the net. One mistake isn’t going to make a game, we had a couple of key mistakes tonight and it cost us the game.”
In the cage for the Panthers Tomas Vokoun finished the night with 39 saves, while on the other side of the ice Islanders keeper Dwayne Roloson made 27 saves in a tough game.
“We are getting there, we are taking the steps in the right direction,” said Dwayne Roloson of the team after the game. “It is just taking us a while to get there.” He would continue by saying, “You need to look in the mirror and say that we owe it to ourselves to do whatever it takes to win a hockey game.”
Up next for the Islanders will be a road trip to Atlanta for a Sunday evening 5:00 p.m. face-off with the Thrashers.
“It is a chance for us to bounce back, “said Moulson of the back-to-back games, “It doesn’t matter when our games are, we have to get more motivated.”
There will be plenty of changes for the Islanders in the game on Sunday as coach Jack Capuano will not only be making possible line changes but also a change in goal keeping giving Dwayne Roloson a rest by starting Rick DiPietro.
Charity Notes: The Islanders were wearing special camouflage jerseys pre-game that fans can bid on. The proceeds will benefit the Islanders Children’s Foundation.