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Live Game Thread 6: Sharks at Isles
Same lineup as last night to face the Sharks tonight; Martin Biron in goal.
Go ahead and start things up in the comments section. I'll provide updates after each period. Here's a little something to chew on before the puck drops.
Just minutes ago, Scott Gordon talked about Joel Rechlicz's poorly-timed cross-checking penalty in the second period that led to Tim Connolly's power play goal to put the Isles down 3 goals.
"Obviously, you can't do it."
Did he know it right away?
"They always know. He can go over there, he just can't cross-check the guy into the boards. Especially, when the whistle blows and you skate across the ice. it;s pretty obvious at that point.
Gordon said, however, that he had no hesitation to put Rechlicz back in the lineup tonight.
"Part of it, he's got to learn as a young player what he can and can't do. And he can't do that. Obviously for those guys there is some give and take, but that's certainly not a situation where we need to have the give and take."
While that penalty may have not been the ultimate game-changer, Gordon said it happened during a pivotal moment in the game.
"It didn't help, that's for sure."
UPDATE: Isles lead 1-0 after first period.
Very strong first period for the Islanders, who outshot the Sharks 19-8. They did a tremendous job of generating scoring chances (especially the Moulson-Tavares-Okposo line) and limited chances in their own end. Biron definitely did not see as much action as Nabokov that period, but he looked sharp. Not to jinx it, but if the Islanders can sustain this level of play for the next forty minutes, no doubt they'll take a win out of this one.
Kyle Okposo scored a power play goal at 15:12 on a nice centering feed from John Tavares to give the Isles a 1-0 lead.
Speaking of Tavares, nice to see him stick up for teammate Brendan Witt after he got crunched along the boards. Tavares incurred his first penalty of the season after pulling off Setoguchi and cross-checking him into the boards at 17:01.
UPDATE: Isles down 2-1 after two periods.
Isles fade in the second, mustering only 5 shots on goal, compared to the Sharks 12 that yielded two scores. First, Patrick Marleau tied the game with a backhanded PPG at 7:50, then Vessey beat Biron five-hole after Thornton dug it out from the end boards and threw it in front at 16:24.
Doug Weight had a nice chance on a breakawa with less than a minute left in the period but hit the post.
UPDATE: Isles fall 4-1 to Sharks
The Islanders are still winless after six games. As much as you can say it's a long season, this is certainly no way to start and that's going to get discouraging fast in the dressing room.
Like several other games this season, the Islanders got away from what gave their team success for portions of the game--in tonight's case, an excellent first. The Isles faded fast in the next two and allowed four unanswered Sharks goals to concede the win.
"It's the same thing every game," Martin Biron said. 'We're tired of saying the same and doing the same thing. At a certain point, we've got to respond."
It didn't help that the Islanders gave San Jose--a dangerous power play team- opportunities with the man-advantage at critical junctures of the game. Coupled with a waning Islanders offensive attack, and the tides turned quick tonight.
"The hard part is realizing we're not going to be an explosive offensive team," Gordon said after the game. "if we think it's going to be that easy, that's just not the makeup of our team. We can't be the reason the opposition turns things around and that's pretty much been the case."