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Isles earn point in Steel City shootout loss

Frans Nielsen. By: Stacy Podelski

The New York Islanders (3-5-0) had the lead, along with the momentum against the Pittsburgh Penguins (8-2-2), but a costly mistake in the third period of play cost the Isles their first victory in Steel City-as New York fell by a final of 3-2 in overtime.

Looking to rebound on this current losing streak, the team jumped ahead to an early lead getting the puck and bodies to the cage. It was a flurry of Islanders white jerseys in front of the Pittsburgh cage, which resulted in a goal by Frans Nielsen (2) for the early lead.

That goal for Nielsen snapped a scoreless streak for New York which spanned 167:44 minutes. New York continued to throw everything they could at the Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury was up to the task of holding the Isles to one run.

Not to be outdone by his counterpart was Isles keeper Evgeni Nabokov, who made some impressive saves to keep his teams’ one goal lead at the end of the first period of play.

Matt Martin added to the positive momentum, along with the score at the 0:45 mark of the third period, grabbing a Steve Staios attempt and ringing it home for the 2-0 lead.  The Islanders had a ton of 3-on-2 opportunities throughout the course of the game, but they could not cash in.

The inability to cash in along with not clearing their offensive zone in the third ultimately cost the Islanders what could have been a huge victory in Steel City. Pittsburgh started their comeback effort at the 1:29 mark when Chris Kunitz (3) spoilt the Nabokov shutout bid.

Pittsburgh tied the game up at the 4:15 mark, on the crucial penalty kill play by the Islanders. Up until this point in time the Penguins were held by the New York defense. One mistake resulted in beautiful tic-tac-toe passing to James Neal (9) who tallied the game-tying goal.

Neither team could find the game-winner, until the shootout frame, when Evgeni Malkin made a beautiful move-allowing Pittsburgh to skate away with the victory.

In the bad news department for fans of the Orange and Blue, Nabby removed himself from the shootout opportunity-as Rick DiPietro made his return to the cage. There has been no word as of yet on a potential injury to ‘Nabby’ or if he’ll have to miss any time with the team.

New York will return home to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for a nice stretch starting on Saturday. The Isles will host the San Jose Sharks with the game scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. MSG Plus is scheduled to televise the action, as the team is going to honor the ’92-’93 team, as a part of the 40th anniversary celebration.

Written on October 27, 2011

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