The Tampa Bay Lightning Beat the Isles in Capuano’s First Game As Coach

By John Panarese

It was the penalty killing and some untimely, bad penalties that cost the Islanders in their 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night at the NVMC. A slashing call to Josh Bailey and a boarding minor to Trent Hunter resulted in the 2 power play goals for the Bolts, who were 2 for 4 with the extra man. The islanders did remain in the game with Matt Moulson scoring to make the game 2-1 in the second period and then John Tavares making it 3-2 late in the third period. However, despite 33 shots on net, the Isles lost their 11th straight game in the end.

Besides the penalties, to me, giving up 40 shots on net and there being a few instances where Lightning players were all alone in front with Dwayne Roloson was another continued problem. Rollie certainly played well and should have won the game, but, once again, a goaltender can only do so much.

Of course, judging a performance in one game is not at all enough to comment on the long term. I guess that I personally was expecting a bit more of a consistent and aggressive effort. Not that getting 33 shots on net is a bad thing and there was a post hit by Moulson and a crossbar by Grabner in the game. Still, the Bolts have not been playing well of late, and I felt that the Isles did give up a few too many good scoring chances.

As a few other observations, James Wisniewski’s end to end rush, I believe in the second period, was impressive, though Dan Ellis stopped his shot on net. Blake Comeau almost tied the game up when it was 2-1 with under 5 minutes left in the game on a break away, but I believe he ended up hitting the side of the net when he had Ellis out of position. Additionally, as much as you don’t want to see one of your top scorers involved in the more physical aspects of a game, hats of to John Tavares for his headlock on Mattias Ritola after Ritola hit Matt Moulson from behind and took a 5 minute major charging penalty. JT received a roughing minor, but it’s good to see guys stand up for their teammates like that in my book.

The Isles have two days to prepare for their next game, which is a match up against the Panthers at home on Saturday night. The Panthers started this 11 game slide in Florida, so let’s hope the boys can end it at the expense of the kitty cats.