Islanders' Roloson hit by blizzard of shots

Dwayne Roloson makes a save in the first Dwayne Roloson makes a save in the first period. The Islanders goalie made 45 saves in the game, but the Rangers also beat him for seven goals. (Dec. 27, 2010) Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

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Considering Dwayne Roloson's performance during the past week, the Islanders did little to thank him in last night's 7-2 loss to the Rangers.

After leading the Islanders to three straight wins and being named the NHL's first star of the week, the 41-year-old goaltender was pelted with 52 shots by their rivals at Madison Square Garden.

"He held us in there as long as he could and we let him down big time tonight," center Rob Schremp said. "He's not invincible."

After only 32:08 of play, Roloson had surrendered as many goals (three) as he had against Tampa Bay, New Jersey and Montreal combined in the previous five days.

And it was through little fault of his own, as his team gave up a whopping 36 shots in the first two periods.

In an embarrassing second period, the Islanders were outshot 18-4 and put undue pressure on Roloson by taking two delay-of-game penalties. They managed only four shots each in the second and third periods and gave up Grade-A quality chances on the other end.

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"We hung our goalie out to dry," coach Jack Capuano said.

The Rangers scored a pair of goals in the middle frame to snap a first-period tie at 2. Long Island's own Matt Gilroy tallied his second goal of the game at 12:08 and Brian Boyle knuckleballed the puck in for a short-side goal for a 4-2 Rangers lead at 18:21.

Roloson showed signs of fatigue in the third, giving up three goals. Surprisingly, Capuano chose not to pull him.

"Knowing Roli the way I think I do, I thought he'd want to stay in and battle for his team," Capuano said.

Said Roloson, "When you're out there, you don't want to put someone else in that situation."

Roloson has faced at least 35 shots in each of his last four starts.

Backup goaltender Rick DiPietro, who was activated off injured reserve last week after experiencing knee swelling, told Newsday that he was ready to play if necessary.

Roloson hardly could be blamed for the early hole the Islanders found themselves in less than one minute after the puck was dropped at center ice.

Gilroy scored his first goal in more than a year when his shot found Schremp's stick in front of the net 44 seconds into play.

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Although Schremp atoned for that goal later in the period, fluttering the puck past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist at 7:51 to pull the Islanders even, the Islanders' play deteriorated in the second and third periods.

The Rangers outshot the Islanders 34-8 in the last 40 minutes.

"What I do know is that we had a few guys that were too casual out there," Capuano said. "We can't have that."

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