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New York Islanders: Fall To Wild In Shootout

By Michael Iuzzini
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The New York Islanders could not take full advantage of the Rangers losing tonight as they only grabbed one point against the Minnesota Wild tonight.


With nine games left in the regular season the Nassau Veteran Memorial Coliseum was buzzing with a playoff like atmosphere.

The New York Islanders knew that it was going to be an unyielding task on hand hosting the hot Minnesota Wild and their keeper Devan Dubynk.  After honoring past Islander great Pat Lafontaine it was game on.

2. 98. . 1. 106.

The Islanders exploded right from the opening draw and did not let up for the entire period.  Dubynk kept the Islanders off the board standing solid for his club.  The Islanders had more than their share of opportunities with 32 attempts to the Wild’s 8 and out shot the visitors 16-5.

Johnny Boychuk showed some playoff D-Man skills when he protected the puck in his zone with a little over 20 seconds remaining in the first.  The Islanders have more often than not given up a goal with under a minute in a period all to often this season.

By midpoint of the game the isles were at 24-10 in shots favored.  The Wild started to get their legs back and found themselves back in the game.

Even with his adversary seeing a heavier amount of shots Jaroslav Halak found a way to steal the show in the second period coming up with what was the best save of the night.  The Wild broke out on a two on one, Halak anticipated the pass from Zach Parise, came across the crease to stonewall Jason Pominville extending his left pad for the save.

Both clubs could sense the intensity build as time became an issue.  The first goal of the game was going to be tremendous for who ever would get on the board first.  It was Captain John Tavares at 23.7 left in the second on the power play.  Tavares after putting the puck on goal circled from behind the goal then banged in the loose puck.  The Isles took a well deserving 1-0 lead into the 3rd period.

The Isles could not keep the Wild off the board as Parise tied it at 11:45 in the third.  Boychuk had a chance in close with under a minute went to unload a shot only for his stick to break.  Overtime we go.

In OT the teams swapped chances, first Thomas Vanek broke in and was stopped by Halak as he fired a shot.  Then on the following play Boychuk jumped in and almost was able to net the game winner.  The two teams left it all out on the ice going back and forth with opportunities.  Between the big saves and great defensive play you could not ask for a better showing.

The game was forced to end in a shootout.  Parise scored after the puck rang off the right post then slid in as Halak dove back.  After Kyle Okposo and Mikko Koivu were stopped Tavares had a chance to tie it.  JT looked to lose the puck before settling it down, he then was stopped and was unsuccessful in getting his team to continue on losing the chance for the two needed points.

It was a well-played game of hockey for the Islanders but even with out playing the Wild it is obvious they are not scoring.  The team is going to have to shrug this one-off and take with them the intense solid play they brought tonight.

The Isles will are going to need to ready themselves Thursday as they host the Defending Stanley Cup Champions the Los Angeles Kings.  The Kings are going to come at them full throttle as they are fighting for their playoff lives.

Next: Isles Need To Find Playoff Gear Now

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