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The Islanders began their two-game homestand on Thursday night hosting the Winnipeg Jets. This is the first meeting of these two teams since the Jets were reinstated as an NHL team. The Islanders played the oh so hated Rick DiPietro in goal Thursday night and despite his solid goaltending, the Islanders came up short. The Islanders failed to score a goal on 31 shots. The Isles outshot their opponents 31-24 and still came out with a loss.
“It’s obviously a very frustrating loss for us in our own building. We threw a lot of pucks on net, Pavelec played really good, but at the end of the day we have to find a way to win that game.” Says Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic.
The Islanders continue to outshoot their opponents, but fail to connect with the back of the net and put up goals. Jack Capuano decided to change up the lines to reignite the dying flame inside of his team.
Of course, the NHL named Ovechkin the third star of the game. Ricky was in goal yet again for the Isles and stopped Ovechkin on every chance except the one slap shot that got by him. The Islanders were off to a rough start, losing 2-0 at the end of the first period. If the crowd was quiet during intermission, we could have heard Jack Capuano and Doug Weight screaming at the team. How do we know he was screaming at them? Well, they came out in the second period with a fire lit under them. Frans Nielsen scored his third of the season and Brian Rolston ripped his signature whip shot on Vokoun to tie up the game.
The third period started and Matt Martin was the one who put the Islanders back on board with a third goal. With the help of a Steve Staios interference call, Brooks Laich netted the tying goal to put the Capitals back in the game. The well-deserving first star of the game, PA Parenteau put his team back on top in the third with an amazing play. Parenteau skated in to the Capitals zone alone, 1 on 4. The end result was Jurcina wipping the puck to the net and Parenteau diving to poke the puck in behind an unaware Vokoun.
Was this the goal that Ovechkin kicked the puck in frustration, or was it the next one? The Capitals pulled Vokoun with two minutes left in the game and resulted in John Tavares netting his eighth goal of the season from the red line. Yeah, that might have been when Ovechkin kicked the puck. The celebration ensued as the Crapitals left the coliseum with their heads hung low.
The line changes could have been what sparked the team and lead to the 5-3 victory over the first place team. It also could have been the Isles aggression and frustration with six straight losses. Whatever it was, it worked. The Islanders will travel to Boston to take on the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, the Bruins tonight. The Bruins hold the last four victories over the Islanders and are coming off of a 7-0 win over the third place Toronto Maple Leafs. Look for the Islanders to keep up the pressure and win one on the road.