Oct 22, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; the New York Islanders celebrate a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Snap Shots: Vancouver Canucks @ New York Islanders – 10/22/13

Welcome to ‘Snap Shots’, our condensed, quick-fix post-game follow up after every match.

Gives you, the reader, bulleted results/impressions/reactions of the game in a flash.

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Vancouver Canucks (5-4-1) at New York Islanders (3-3-2)

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, October 22nd, 2013

Game 9

Canucks (5) – Islanders (4) OT

SOG: 33-32 VAN

Pre-Game Quips & Questions (Stats courtesy of NYI Gameday Notes)

Both teams arrive to the Coliseum each having suffered a loss in their last contest, with the Isles having the more pressing concerns to overcome, one in the form of a suspension (Michael Grabner/2 games) and the other an injury (Lubomir Visnovsky/concussion/IR).

Having no other option on defense but his top defensive prospect, will Jack Capuano allow Matt Donovan more than just 13m of ice time? Will the young Donovan see more PP reps alongside the likes of John Tavares and Josh Bailey, and prove his worth, making a case to stay on as a permanent fixture on this club?

Will the Michael Grabner suspension spell trouble in an already erratic offensive core, sorely in need of chemistry and balance? Or will Brock Nelson be the answer to the aforementioned question?

Can Pierre-March Bouchard finally adjust his game to suit the purposes of the Tavares line? Will a Moulson-Tavares-Bouchard combination be in the works? Keep in mind that Bouchard has had an assist in his last 3 appearances.

John Tavares (4g/6a) continues playing consistent hockey regardless of who’s playing beside him: Will the Islander captain make it 8-straight games with a point, which will be his longest streak since the 2011-12 season?

Let’s see how it all played out…

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Lineups

  • O  Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Bouchard-Nielsen-Bailey; Nelson-Regin-Clutterbuck; Martin-Cizikas-McDonald
  • D: MacDonald-Hamonic; Donovan-Strait; Hickey-Carkner
  • G: Evgeni Nabokov

Scratches

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Goals

  • Period 3: (18:48) Frans Nielsen (5) Andrew MacDonald, Kyle Okposo 4-4
  • OT:  (2:16) #15 Brad Richardson (4) 5-4 OT

Penalties

  • Period 1: (4:03) #20 Chris Higgins. Slashing
  • Period 2: (1:38) Brian StraitHigh-Sticking
  • Period 2: (3:56 ) #33 Henrik Sedin. High-Sticking
  • Period 2: (9:51) #33 Henrik Sedin. Holding the Stick
  • Period 3: (13:42) Frans Nieslen. Elbowing
  • Period 3: (15:18 ) #33 Henrik Sedin. Tripping
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+/

Period One

  • Islanders start with an aggressive clip to their first three shifts, throwing pucks at Roberto Luongo, having Vancouver hemmed in their own zone early on. Two quick goals makes for their best opening 5m in quite a while.
  • Much better Neutral Zone presence throughout the period, and aside from the two quick Canucks goals, the Isles are playing a well-fought, good skating game. Keeping pace with VAN, although being out-hit at present. Also, the Isles are doing much better job at defending their own bluezone, Thomas Hickey especially strong.
  • Much better skating and forechecking this period in the entire game against Carolina. Very little let-up by New York, with reduced amounts of perimeter attempts in the VAN end of the ice.

Period Two

  • Casey Cizikas, along with Matt Martin, do a strong job killing off VAN’s first PP opportunity of the evening.
  • Matt Moulson with his 4th PPG of the season, second PPG of the game, after a wonderful passing sequence by Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo. Isles remain strong on the forecheck, and their PP at home showing why it’s the best in the NHL at present.
  • Matt Donovan shows flair of forechecking intelligence as a pinch almost sets up Brock Nelson’s second. 10:00
  • Although the NYI have twice lost the lead, their pursuit for their fourth is apparent, as they forechecking is “activating” (to coin the word of the night via tonght’s telecast) and pressuing VAN.

Period Three

  • Peter Regin draws a penalty late in the period that nullifies the VAN PP.
  • Cal Clutterbuck with a nice rush on the PP, lets off a wrist shot that rebounds off Roberto Luongo and Tavares’s attempt is blocked by a sprawling goaltender.
  • Andrew MacDonald holds off on his shot long enough to get a clear attempt at net, the generous rebound by Luongo lands on Frans Nielsen’s stick and the game is tied.

Overtime

  • NYI still get the 1-point.

/-

Period One

  • The Isles lose the lead midway through the period due in part to poor puck clearing and spotty goaltending. First goal was a combination of a generous rebound by Nabokov and a failed backcheck/clear by Andrew MacDonald.
  • The two quick goals overshadow the Isles overall strong play. First time in quite a while that the finger can be pointed to one or even two players at ‘fault’ for the lost lead. Overall, the Isles are still having issues with their ability to protect the slot area.
  • Backchecking improves as the period rolled on, but not before costing the Isles a critical goal; the second goal was a a failed mark on a trailing VAN player, with Nabokov caught moving left to right and overplaying the angle. Game should be 2-0 Isles.

Period Two

  • Brian Strait takes a bad High-Sticking penalty early in the period. NYI would eventually kill off VAN’s first opportunity on offensive
  • After being knocked down in front of his own crease, VAN pushes puck in during the scramble. #75 Mike Santorelli falls atop the Isles netminder. Officials review the call and call it NO GOAL
  • NYI defensemen still having issues getting that ‘one pass’ out of their own zone. Early in the PP the Isles ice the puck. Need improvement with their transition game.
  • Canucks tie it up as the Sedin brothers are left alone at the blueline and convert on a 2-1. Isles trapped and they pay for it. Isles are falling behind on the backcheck late in the third.
  • Late goal in the period: Nelson misses a neutral zone check, and after a Nabokov rebound, VAN scoops it up and buries it in the back of the net, taking their first of lead of the contest. Brian Strait loses his mark on the play.

Period Three

  • Thomas Hickey loses his edge in his own zone and gives VAN an opportunity at a 2-goal lead. Luckily Matt Carkner partially blocks the shot and the Isles stave off VAN’s 5th of the evening. Regardless of the error, Hickey has played a solid game throughout, blocking shots, and cycling decently out of his own zone. But, holistically speaking, the NYI defense doing poorly on marking the pinching VAN defenseman.
  • Islander forechecking stifled by VAN physicality and trap-like play, and New York having no other options other than more perimeter shooting and dump-and-chase plays. Lacking creativity once again, not to mention energy and assertiveness on the offensive side of things.
  • NYI unable to properly setup on a most crucial PP opportunity, having issues entering cleanly into the offensive zone.

Overtime

  • VAN crash the net and score the OT winner.

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 Post-Game Responses & Reactions

  •  First period was marked by strong skating and aggressive forechecking by the New York Islanders, but equally overshadowed by nagging inconsistencies on the backcheck. Andrew MacDonald fails to pick up his mark properly, and Evgeni Nabokov unable to tame a rebound give the Canucks a quick goal after the Isles had made it 2-0. In all, the period would find close with both teams evenly matched with regards to momentum. SOG 12-9 NYI.
  • Second period saw a dominate Islander team, lead by the combination of Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Moulson on the PP. But New York cannot shake off their backchecking woes and lose the lead again, this time trapped deep inside VAN ice–a Sedin Brothers odd-man rush deep inside NYI territory gives VAN the tie. All seemed well, momentum going New York’s way until the last ticks of the period, as a ‘innocuous’ neutral zone challenge lost by Brock Nelson allowed VAN entrance into Islander territory, and within a blink of an eye, VAN takes their first lead of the night. Isles working hard but coming up short on the scoreboard. SOG 12-11 VAN.
  • Third period saw an Islander team hemmed in their own zone early on, and VAN gaining confidence with their puck cycling in and around Nabokov; early opportunities staved off by the Isles netminder. Frans Nielsen was a victim of a bad neutral zone penalty call that shaved 2:00 of possible forechecking chances. And after the penalty is nullified and the Isles fail to capitalize on the PP, Frans Nielsen ties it up with a 1:00. Better last half of the 3rd leads to OT. SOG 8-9 NYI.
  • The overtime period was rather short, and the hard work of VAN center Mike Santorelli and the aggressive forechecking of the Brad Richardson proved too much for the NYI, and the Canucks take the extra point this evening. SOG 4-0 VAN.

–RD (@RDNHL)

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