The New York Islanders returned home to Nassau Coliseum in Long Island for their home opener, taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The atmosphere prior to the game was nothing short of electric as fans lined up as early as noon (and earlier I suppose) to welcome the blue and orange back home. Eyes was walking the beat prior to the game and got to meet a bunch of Islanders fans who support the team with heart and soul, the BOA crew from section 329 and the newly formed New York Islanders hardcore supporters section. It was great to meet such passionate fans and see their enthusiasm for this team. They could both be found on Twitter and Facebook so head on over and share your support and passion with them.
The Islanders went with the same lineup that defeated the New Jersey Devils last night 4-3 in a shootout with Evgeni Nabokov in goal.
Now to the business at hand and that is game two of the 2013-14 season…..
- Isles came out of the gate strong, clearly energized by opening night and the crowd.
- 3rd line continues to earn Jack Capuano‘s trust, getting the start
- Evgeni Nabokov extremely strong, stopping Jack Johnson and Ryan Johanssen
- Isles struggling to get offense on track with 1st line looking extremely frustrated and out of sync.
- Isles 4th line infused energy into the club and building with physical play.
- After some great work behind the net by Tavares, Visnovsky opens up the scoring with a blast from the point on the power play
- Tavares again at the center of the offensive push with a sublime feed to Matt Moulson who shows composure in front for his 1st.
- Bobrovsky showed off Vezina form with incredible saves on Tavares and Thomas Hickey.
- Columbus begins to take the game away from the Islanders with an intense forecheck.
- Mark Letestu blows one over Nabokov’s glove from the high slot to give Blue Jackets life.
- After two failed clearing attempts while shorthanded, Ryan Johansen throws one short side and Peter Regin accidentally deflects behind Nabokov.
- Nabokov extremely strong to close out the third, making several tremendous saves.
- Islanders end period with power play but again Bobrovsky steals the show with tremendous goaltending.
- Islanders 4 on 3 power play to start the overtime way too passive and not showing enough movement but does force Bobrovsky into some tough saves.
- Nabokov once again keeps Islanders alive by stoning Johanson and Johnson from in close.
- Letestu and Atkinson for Columbus, Moulson for Islanders.
“It’s disappointing to drop that second point. With a 2-0 lead in the third period, bad luck or not, we have to close that game out”
“Bobrovsky is a Vezina winning goaltender for a reason. He is the backbone of their team and came up big tonight”
“We didn’t feel that we were physical enough in the first period and made it a point to come out better in the second”
“We still have to find that consistency. We know we have our best hockey in front of us and are looking forward to getting back out there on Tuesday night”
Jack Capuano :
“We didn’t respond collectively as a unit and we need to do that in order to close these games out”
“The players have to do whatever it takes to win and we saw that tonight with Frans and Casey going down to block numerous shots”
“We played too much on the perimeter in the third period. We have to get to those dirty areas and create better scoring opportunites, a two goal lead in this league is not safe”
“First line was much better than last night, they were in constant motion and created both goals”
“I was very pleased with Nabby’s play. He was sharp throughout and made some real key saves when we needed him to”
- John Tavares led all forwards in ice time with 20:48, finishing with 2 assists and 4 shots.
- Andrew MacDonald led the defense with 25:58 and blocked 7 shots.
- Peter Regin played a low among forwards of 11:52
- Michael Grabner continued to be a threat with his speed, creating yet another breakaway and showing strong forechecking.
- Thomas Hickey much improved over game one.
- Josh Bailey needs to play more than 13:49
- Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan continue to show maturity beyond their years, looking very comfortable out there.
- Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus
- Evgeni Nabokov, Islanders
- John Tavares, Islanders
Next game is Tuesday home to the Phoenix Coyotes. Rich Dias will be representing Eyes in the box.