Just when you thought the New York Islanders might be turning a corner, think again.
Then again, they may have found a diamond in the rough.
With rookie goalie Nathan Lawson in the pipes for the Islanders, New York saw its short one-game winning streak go by the wayside Saturday night in a 4-3 (shootout) loss to the visiting Phoenix Coyotes on Long Island.
Kyle Turris tallied Phoenix’s third goal of the shootout, as the Coyotes rallied late just to force overtime, denying the Islanders two more points following a win over Anaheim Thursday evening in Uniondale.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata also notched goals for Phoenix in the shootout, while Martin Hanzal connected with 1:28 left in regulation to spoil Lawson’s (32 saves) shot at a win.
“I just try to take it one shot at a time,” Lawson commented to the Associated Press. “The big differences up here are speed, and harder forechecking and harder shooting.” Lawson, who went 16-16-3 a season ago in American Hockey League (AHL) play, had been recalled earlier in the day for the Islanders from Bridgeport of the AHL.
Jesse Joensuu, Michael Grabner and Rob Schremp registered goals for the Islanders, who were seeking their second straight win following a six-game losing streak.
Lawson garnered the start because goalie Rick DiPietro was scratched as a result of a minor injury to his surgically repaired knee.
“I thought he was excellent,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano told the AP of Lawson. “He was our best player on the ice.”
Now if only the Islanders could find five other stellar players on the ice at the same time.
By picking up only a point in the shootout loss, the Islanders continue to sport the NHL’s worst point total with 18, two behind the New Jersey Devils.
New York will host Tampa Bay on Wednesday evening (Dec. 22).
About the Author
Written by Dave Thomas