Just back from a five-game road trip that witnessed quality wins in Detroit and Colorado (also won in Calgary), the New York Islanders were looking to start something positive at home Tuesday evening against the Vancouver Canucks. Problem was, the Canucks had other ideas.
Vancouver got the best of the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, tallying a 4-3 win (shootout), giving the Canucks a stellar mark of 14-0-3 in their last 17 games.
Roberto Luongo netted 38 saves, while Ryan Kesler tallied one goal in the game and one goal in the shootout.
New York goalie Kevin Poulin was a busy man on the night, facing 51 shots in all. In the shootout, Poulin stopped former Islanders forward Jeff Tambellini, but after Mason Raymond tied things up, Kesler got the game- winner.
The Islanders (8-3-2 last 13 games), despite the setback, are still well ahead of the Devils to avoid the bottom rank in the NHL, with 33 points to New Jersey’s 24.
Meantime, the Canucks’ 62 points gives them a three-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings for first in the Western Conference and an identical lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for the top spot overall in the NHL.
New York’s Blake Comeau put the Islanders in position to win at 3-2 in the third, but the hosts were unable to hold the margin. John Tavares and Jack Hillen added goals in regulation for the Islanders, who face Ottawa on Thursday evening in Uniondale.
“It’s a good hockey team that we played,” Islanders interim head coach Jack Capuano told NHL.com. “I’m real proud of the guys and the effort that we put in tonight. We had a long road trip. We came back at 3-2. In the first period, it took us a little while to get our legs back under us. But I couldn’t be more proud of the guys after the effort we gave tonight against a great hockey team.”
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Written by Dave Thomas