Isles Lose Their Final Home Game In the Shootout to the Penguins

By John Panarese

I find it amusing that I have read this game characterized by some writers in terms of the Penguins”getting revenge” against the Islanders. I wouldn’t exactly describe the end result in that way at all. It took the shootout for the Pens to win the game at the Nassau Colosseum 4-3, as Travis Hamonic tied the score with 35 seconds left in regulation to send it to the extra stanza.

There were two fights in the first period, but that was really it. Both Trevor Gillies and Zenon Konopka did what they have done for this club all season by stepping up and standing up for their team and teammates. If there is anything about this season that should not be overlooked in looking back on it, it should not be the fact that the boys showed a lot of toughness and guys like Konopka and Gillies did what needed to be done for the team.

The Penguins had 2-0 and 3-2 leads during the game. However, Blake Comeau, who has often been lost in the shuffle as far as a guy who has had a very impressive season goes, scored his 23rd and 24th goals of the season to tie the game briefly up at 2. Comeau has had a career year, and, to me, has proven his value and earned his place among our best 9 forwards.

The goaltending of both Al Montoya and Marc-Andre Fleury was the difference in the game. Both net minders made 35 saves in the contest. The isles pressed pretty hard at the end to tie that game, but Fleury, in particular, came up big for his team.

My jury is still out as far as the goaltender interference call on John Tavares is concerned, which cost Matt Moulson a goal. I have read varying opinions on the call, so it is what it is, I guess. I have no doubts the officials were given specific instructions about the conduct of the game, but I don’t think it influenced that particular call or others. Only the additional 10 minute misconducts to Gillies and Konopka, to me, were probably “directives” handed down from on high.

In any event, tonight is the final game of the season for the Islanders. They finish the 2010-11 campaign in Philadelphia. I would think Ricky will be in goal tonight, and I would expect the boys to play out the season to the final whistle with effort and hard work, as they have been playing since the middle of December.

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