Defenseman Ty Wishart played his first game as an Islander and picked up 2 assists in the game, while Rob Schremp scored 2 in a 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators at home last night. It got a bit rough at times, but the Isles out shot and out played their opponents to come away with the win.
A 3-3 tie by the end of the opening period made it seem as if we were in for a football kind of score. The Islanders took 1-0 and 2-1 leads from goals by Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner only to have the Sens come back to tie each time, and then when Ottawa went up 3-2, Rob Schremp returned the favor for his first goal of the game. The Senators chose to pull Brian Elliott after the first period to replace him with Robin Lehner, while Jack Capuano stayed the course with Kevin Poulin.
Poulin settle down to give up no other goals in the game. On the other hand, after his team had already taken a penalty in the closing seconds of the second period, Robin Lehner took a stupid elbowing penalty on Kevin Poulin while skating off the ice after the second period had ended. With the Isles opening the third period with a 5 on 3 power play, Rob Schremp eventually got the go ahead goal and the game winner. Poulin came up with a few big saves towards the end of the game, and while shorthanded and with the Ottawa net empty for an additional skater, Frans Nielsen sealed the game with a goal of his own.
Now that Rick DiPietro is going to be out for quite some time, to me, this was a big game for Kevin Poulin. Despite the rough start, his team settled down as did he and he enabled the Islanders to earn the victory in the end. Until Nathan Lawson comes back, Poulin is going to be the “guy”, so I was personally happy to see him right the ship and keep his team in the game. For twenty years old, he is showing a great deal of poise and leadership by his play out there.
So, while we got Milan Jurcina back from injury, it appears Blake Comeau may be out for a bit. The elbow by Max Talbot in the game against the Pens, which went unpunished, has resulted in a concussion for Comeau. Yes, once again, the NHL blew it and dropped the ball.. Hats of to our fearless Dean of Discipline, Mr. Campbell …..
Next up are the Leafs on Tuesday. The Isles need to build on this game and try to establish another good stretch to grab some badly needed points. Let’s keep it going, boys!