Top Shelf: Islanders Daily 10/20/2013

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Islanders played their third straight home game against the newly appointed division rival Carolina Hurricanes. The Islanders ended up losing the game 4-3, but showed resiliency after coming down from a 4-1 deficit and nearly tying the game in the final seconds of the game.

The scoring opened up early in the second period from a nice goal by Juri Tlusty, and the Hurricanes didn’t look back from that point, scoring four goals against Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Despite the loss last night, there were encouraging signs during the game. Evgeni Nabokov  suffered what looked like could have been a serious injury during the game. He suffered a hit to the head on a scramble in front of the net, but got up within minutes and looked alert, which is a huge plus for the team, as having Nabokov injured for the foreseeable future would be trouble.

The Islanders’ Power Play looked much very good last night, going 2-for-5 and also notching a goal in the final 90 seconds as a penalty against Carolina Hurricane’s defenseman Justin Faulk expired.

The defense last night also started to show better form, as the Islanders’ shut-down defensive pair of Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald made some nice plays in the defensive zone after struggling since the beginning of the season. Defenseman Thomas Hickey continues to be a solid forechecker, and Brian Strait has rebounded nicely in his last two games following a rough go-at-it last Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres.

So with these encouraging signs, we now wait for the 3-3-2 Islanders to play their final game of their four game home-stand against the Vancouver Canucks, and hope that the Islanders play off their strengths and give the fans something to smile about as they head out of Nassau Coliseum.

-Peter (@pjmcentee)

In Case You Missed It

A Look Back on The Islanders-Oilers Rivalry and its Renewal (Eyes on Isles)

Would You Rather See Brock Nelson or Matt Donovan Stay on Long Island? (Islanders Op-Timism)

Dirty Hits Continue to Plague the NHL (Eyes on Isles)

Do the Islanders Have to Sign Matt Moulson? (Eyes on Isles)

Two Minutes for Tweeting

You don’t see this everyday! As first done by Islanders great Billy Smith, and only done few times since, a goalie actually scored a goal.

Islanders expert Daniel Friedman gives his insight on how Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald should be split up. Personally, I thought they played well last night, but it’s definitely a subject up for debate.

The Islanders special teams continues to look strong with upper-half of the league rankings on the Power Play and the Penalty Kill. Both looked good last night against Carolina, which is a nice sign for the team moving forward.

Last Night in the NHL

Pittsburgh 4, Vancouver 3 (SO), Penguins: Crosby, 1G, 2A, Malkin, 1A, Kunitz, 1G, 1A

Nashville 2, Montreal 1, Nashville: Shea Weber, 1G (PPG), Seth Jones, 1G

Carolina 4, NY Islanders 3, Carolina: Jury Tlusty, 2G, Jordan Staal, 1G, Jeff Skinner, 1G

Colorado 4, Buffalo 2, Colorado: Ryan O’Reilly, 1G, 1A, Duchene, 1G (PPG), 1A

Florida 2, Minnesota 1, Florida: Jonas Brodin, 1G, Aleksander Barkov, 1G

Phoenix 5, Detroit 2, Phoenix: Anton Vermette, 1G, Mike Ribiero, 1G, Mike Smith, 1G (EN)

Los Angeles 5, Dallas 2, Los Angeles: Anze Kopitar, 3A, Justin Williams, 2G

Edmonton 3, Ottawa 1, Edmonton: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2G, 1A, Jordan Eberle, 1G, 1A, Nail Yakupov, 1A

New Jersey 4, NY Rangers 0, New Jersey: Adam Henrique, 1G, Dainius Zubrus, 1G

Boston 5, Tampa Bay 0, Boston: Dave Krejci, 1G Patrice Bergeron, 1G, Milan Lucic, 1A

Chicago 3, Toronto 1, Chicago: Bryan Bickell, 1G, Brandon Saad, 1A

Washington 4, Columbus 1, Washington: Joel Ward, 1G, Alex Ovechkin, 1G

San Jose 6, Calgary 3, San Jose: Joe Pavelski, 2G, 2A, Patrick Marleau, 1G, 1A

Across the Sound

The 1-3 Sound Tigers are set to square off against the Binghampton Senators this afternoon in Webster Bank Arena. The Sound Tigers are currently on a two game losing streak, but will try to turn the tides against a strong Binghampton team.

Ryan Strome and Andrey Pedan currenty lead the team in scoring with 3 points each through 4 games, while goaltender Anders Nilsson owns a 3.27 GAA and a .880 SP.