Isles Lose to the Oilers, but Kevin Poulin Makes An Unexpected Debut

By John Panarese

It was another example of a lack of a sixty minute effort costing the Islanders last night in Edmonton at Rexall Place.  The Oilers scored 2 quick goals on starting goaltender, Nathan Lawson, who was pulled by Jack Capuano to attempt to “wake up” his somewhat listless group.  Although the Isles played a much better second half and out shot the Oilers 31-22 in the end, a Blake Comeau goal at the 13 minute mark of the second period was all the offense that could be mustered.

Kevin Poulin faced 19 Oiler shots after replacing Lawson, and he stopped all of them.  It wasn’t exactly the way I think he had expected to make his NHL debut, but it was certainly a “positive” sign from the game.  He had to be sharp in a few instances, and to be put into the fire so early in a game you weren’t expecting to be playing was surely a challenge as well.

The power play for the Islanders was 0 for 7, and while also giving up a shorthanded goal, it was not exactly an area that shined for the boys.  On top of that, they had over a minute and a half of 5 on 3 power play time late in the third period and could not convert.  The power play had been looking much better in recent games, but its lack of success certainly was a factor in the loss.

This weekend is not going to be an easy task for the Islanders.  It is onto Colorado to play the Avalanche on Saturday, and then it’s a Sunday meeting with the current Stanley Cup champions, the Black Hawks in Chicago.  Although Rick DiPietro did practice with the team, there has been no word as to whether or not he will be ready to go for either road game.  Will we see Poulin start perhaps?  It will be interesting to see for sure.

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