The New York Islanders (5-11-4) had a spirited game, but fell to the New Jersey Devils (12-8-1) by a final of 1-0 on Friday night hockey action. New York had a total of five power play opportunities, but could not cash in-as the team has now been blanked in three of their last four games.
“How would you think?” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said of the Islanders’ frustration. “We had three power plays right off the bat, and didn’t get many shots to the net. They might have had more shots on the PK than we did on our power play.”
New Jersey, meanwhile, cashed in on their first power play opportunity of the game, as Petr Sykora (5) netted a 22 foot slap shot for the 1-0 lead. The Devils defense, along with backup keeper Johan Hedberg (23 saves) was enough to keep the Islanders at bay.
Meanwhile, the one goal by the Devils spoilt what was a very good effort by returning Islanders keeper Al Montoya (22 saves). Having one of the best chances in the game was forward Michael Grabner, who had a short-handed penalty shot with 12:50 in the third period of play.
Montoya had this to say of the lone goal, “It was a power play shot from the point, breaks a stick and (puck) lands on one of the most lethal guys in the NHL for a long time. He (Sykora) was able to put it in a great spot, it was a good goal.”
Grabner had this to say of the penalty shot, “Everyone saw what happened. I didn’t score. Its’ not just a penalty or breakaway, I had open chances and need to find a way to score at least one.”
The Isles came out with fire in the first frame, as call up Michael Haley dropped gloves and exchanged blows with Cam Janssen, within minutes of the start of the game. It was a spirited exchange between the two combatants’, as both men were able to put on a display of fighting.
“The effort and passion was there,” said Haley of the loss. “It is just they got a lucky break with the stick breaking and the puck goes right to the guy in the slot. Obviously the effort was there, just got to find a way for the bounces to go in.”
On the fight tonight Haley had this to say, “It was a good fight, it happens in hockey and it is a part of the game.”
This home-and-home series will conclude on Saturday, as the Isles will now head to New Jersey. The game is scheduled to air on the MSG Plus 2 network, with face-off scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Good luck Blake: It was reported prior to the game that Blake Comeau was claimed off waivers by the Calgary Flames. The Islanders had placed Comeau on waiver on Thursday.
Charity Note: Prior to the game the Islanders concluded their holiday food drive in conjunction with Island Harvest.
Click here for more information on Island Harvest:
Story originally used for the Examiner.com site on 11/26/11 and can be seen here: