The goalie situation right now for the New York Islanders is looking like something out of scene from the ABC hit soap General Hospital.
Somehow, however, the Isles pulled together and left the Bell Centre in Montreal Thursday evening with a 4-3 victory (shootout) over the Canadiens.
Finnish product Mikko Koskinen turned away 37 shots in his second start of the season to capture his first NHL victory. Koskinen was brought center stage after being called up to replace youngster Kevin Poulin, who went down with a season-ending injury before the start of New York’s loss to Toronto two evenings earlier. Poulin is now the third New York goalie this season to fall victim to the injury bug.
With Koskinen doing the job in the shootout, the Islanders got the only score they’d need in the shootout when Kyle Okposo beat Alex Auld for the game-winner in the second round.
“I had a lot of fun, it was awesome,” Koskinen told The Associated Press. “I would like to play every night in front of this kind of crowd (more than 21,000). So much fun.”
“It was real tough on him at home (Tuesday night) with Kevin (Poulin) going down,” Islanders interim coach Jack Capuano commented to the AP. “He had a day and half or two to think about his start tonight, and he just played it simple. He regrouped, he played square to the puck and he didn’t try to do too much. He made some key saves for us.”
Michael Grabner (two goals) and John Tavares also tallied for New York, which still considers itself to have an outside shot at the playoffs.
The Isles, who have gone .500 since the All-Star break, now stand at 18-29-7 heading into Friday night’s home match up with another team beset by injuries, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
While the Penguins do not have any injury issues in net, they’ll play once again without Sidney Crosby among others when they visit Nassau Coliseum.
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Written by Dave Thomas