Islanders lose 11th in a row in Capuano's debut

Matt Moulson #26 of the New York Islanders Matt Moulson #26 of the New York Islanders plays the puck against Mattias Ohlund #5 of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Nov. 17, 2010) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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The coach has changed, the system has been simplified and the attitude has been revamped. But the results remained the same.

Although Monday's massive shake-up may have provided a wake-up call and a fresh outlook, it did not elicit a win.

The Islanders dropped their 11th straight game, 4-2, to Tampa Bay last night, in front of a season-low crowd of 8,025 in interim coach Jack Capuano's debut at Nassau Coliseum.

Although the Islanders generated chances aplenty (36), they gave up 40 in their own end. Marty St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Brett Clark each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning, which lost six of its previous seven games.

"It's tough,'' the Islanders' Josh Bailey said. "You can't be giving up that many shots no matter who we're playing. [Dwayne Roloson} stood on his head once again and kept us in the game, but we've been having that too much lately. It's time for the forwards to step up and steal the game rather than rely on the goalie to keep us in it.''

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Capuano's first game came two days after he replaced Scott Gordon, who took the fall for the losing streak.

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In contrast to the heady, methodical style championed by his predecessor, Capuano seemed to favor a more basic, instinctual approach. Called by his charges as a "player's coach," Capuano told them to have fun and play hockey.

"I felt confident about myself and the team that we have," said Capuano, the 15th coach in franchise history. "The result wasn't there, but I felt pretty relaxed on the bench.''

But with the different approach also came growing pains, specifically on defense.

"We have some stuff to clean up in our zone, getting used to a new system,'' said Matt Moulson, who scored the Islanders' first goal. "You go from one system to the other, you have to get out of the habit of the old way of doing things."

After Stamkos tallied a power-play goal with only 0.3 of a second to play in the first and Brett Clark scored on a redirect the next period, Moulson made it 2-1 later in the second.

John Tavares also pulled the Islanders within a goal with a backhander at 18:52 of the third, but former teammate Nate Thompson's empty-netter with 15.5 seconds left sealed the Islanders' 11th straight loss.

The Islanders (4-11-3) have not scored more than twice in a game since a 5-3 loss to Montreal Oct. 27. Their 11 points is a league low.

"I've probably said it 38 times in the past four minutes, we're not scoring," said defenseman James Wisniewski, who leads the team with 14 points. "Something's got to happen, and then the floodgates will open."

Until they do, however, the Islanders still find themselves mired in the interminable slump that sealed Gordon's fate.

"We've got to find a way to win," Tavares said. "I thought in a lot of areas we did good things. Hopefully, we can use that moving forward."

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Notes & quotes: Mattias Ritola's second-period charging major, for crushing Moulson along the boards, could bring supplementary discipline from the league. Tavares drew two minutes for roughing after pouncing on Ritola after the play.

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