Isles Win Their Fourth In A Row, Defeat the Sens 4-3 In The Shootout

By John Panarese

The Islanders finished their brief road swing with a 4-3 win over the Senators in Ottawa.  It took the shootout to get the job done, but they now have won four in a row.

Goals from Blake Comeau, Michael Grabner and Josh Bailey in regulation time highlighted the Isles win.  They trailed 1-0 and 2-1 at different points in the game, and in the shootout, unlike his first experience against the Coyotes, in which he could not stop any of the 3 shooters he faced, Nathan Lawson stopped 2 of the 3 Senators in this case, while Rob Schremp and Frans Nielsen both scored on Brian Elliott.  Lawson also made 28 saves in the game to earn the victory.  He wasn’t always sharp at times and had some rebound control issues, but the defense played extremely well and bailed him out more than a few times.

The Isles didn’t demonstrate one of their strongest efforts.  Once again, an opponent scored the first goal of a game, and it seemed as if they couldn’t quite get their legs going.  Additionally, they gave up 2 goals on the penalty kill, though the red hot, Grabner, did pick up a shorty.  For the second time in a row, the orange and blue also gave up a late third period lead to have the game have to go beyond regulation.  In this case, Elliott robbed Comeau of a “sure” goal moments before the Sens came back to tie the contest.

In the end, though, the W was what was important.  Finding ways to win is a critical outcome for this team.  Despite struggling at times and missing the net a bit too much, they managed to get the big goals and the big saves when they needed them.  Perhaps the playoff picture might not be all that clear for them, but every win helps, and who knows what a reasonable run could get them by Mid-March?  Everyone seems to be talking about the chances the Devils might have in coming back to make the playoffs, but the Islanders are now 1 point ahead of Jersey in the standings.

So, it’s home to meet the Boston Bruins on Thursday.  The Bruins have lost a few in a row, but they are still having a good season and have been getting both great goaltending and consistent scoring.  Even losing Marc Savard, they still can bury you in a game.  So, the Isles will have to come out playing well out of the gate and expect a physical matchup from a big, tough group of guys.