Islanders' penalty kill dooms them
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The Islanders, who allowed four power-play goals in Saturday's 6-1 loss to the Devils, don't have a lot of time to think about it. They host the Florida Panthers on Sunday at 3 p.m.
"I thought we came out of the first in really good shape," coach Jack Capuano said. "We were structured, we were doing the right things, we didn't give them any chances. We didn't respond after the power-play goals, and if you give up four in a game, you're not going to win."
The Islanders had killed off 21 of the last 22 penalties before the Devils exploded in very unDevils-like fashion.
"For me, it's about the first eight seconds ," Capuano said. "We had chances to pressure in the first eight seconds before they got set up and we didn't. We allowed some seams that we normally don't allow."
Evgeni Nabokov allowed five goals (three on the power play) on his first 16 shots faced and was pulled after two periods with the Islanders trailing 5-1.
"It wasn't anything other than the penalty kill," Nabokov said. "The goaltender is a part of it and it wasn't good enough."
Nabokov was replaced by Anders Nilsson, who was called up Saturday from Bridgeport. Kevin Poulin was loaned to Bridgeport to get some playing time. Nilsson had 15 saves on 16 shots, with the lone goal coming on the power play with 39 seconds left.
The Islanders will be without defenseman Travis Hamonic on Sunday. Hamonic has been suspended one game for instigating a fight in the final five minutes, the NHL announced.
Hamonic was assessed a minor penalty for instigation, a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct at 15:23 of the third period. Capuano was fined $10,000 by the league. Josh Bailey and Eric Boulton of the Islanders also were slapped with 10-minute misconducts.