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Isles fail to score power play goal in 10th straight game, fall to Rangers 2-0
The Islanders may have halted their dreadful 14-game winless slump last week, but they are toiling with yet another streak only slightly less embarrassing.
In the team’s 2-0 loss to the Rangers last night at Madison Square Garden, the Islanders failed to score a power-play goal in their tenth straight game. They are 0-for-32 in that span, which has lasted almost an entire month.
After the team’s latest loss—which featured two unsuccessfull power-play attempts-- interim head coach Jack Capuano foreshadowed change for the hapless unit.
“I’m not going to waste around with the same personnel,” Capuano said. “If guys aren't going to do it, other guys are going to play. We’ve gone over this. I don’t mind not scoring on the power-play as long as they’re doing what we ask. I don’t care if it’s five defensemen or five rookies at this point.”
Capuano told Newsday he won’t hesitate to use defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic more from the point if the team’s other players up top aren’t willing to get shots through.
Although Capuano didn't call anyone out by name, power-play quarterback James Wisniewski did not have a single shot in last night’s game.
“We need guys up top to shoot the puck, not try to be play-makers,” Capuano said.
Conversely, it took the Rangers only one successful power-play attempt to secure the win for the second win of their home-and-home against the Islanders.
“Their power-play decides the game,” Capuano said. “We had opportunities, we had guys at the net and we just didn’t want to throw pucks there for whatever reason.”
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist barely had to work for his shutout, turning away only 17 Islanders shots throughout the game.
Lundqvist did make a stellar stick save to thwart a prime Islanders power-play opportunity, who has not scored with the man-advantage since November 6 against Philadelphia.
“I’m tired of repeating myself, we’ve got to score,” said former Ranger P.A. Parenteau. “We moved the puck pretty well , but we forced a few things. We need better shots.”
In another lackluster first period for the Islanders—they failed to register a shot on goal until 14:58 into play on a long wrister from Parenteau—two questionable penalties made the officiating the most compelling storyline.
First, a phantom roughing call on Rangers agitator Sean Avery, who incidentally got tangled up with Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski in front of the net at 15:18.
Less than two minutes after Avery went to the box—he also received an additional ten-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct—Jon Sim was whistled for goaltender interference, although he was clearly pushed into Henrik Lundqvist by defenseman Steve Eminger.
The next period Sim incurred another goaltender interference penalty—this one legitimate—and the Rangers cashed in for a 1-0 lead at 4:33.
With nine seconds remaining on the man-advantage, Marc Staal’s slapshot beat a screened Dwayne Roloson.Brian Boyle added an empty-netter with 2.6 seconds in the third for a 2-0 win.
But ultimately, it was the Rangers' one power-play goal, and the Islanders inability to match that sunk them for their 16th loss in 17 games.
‘Their goal was on the power play so we have to find a way to get one through too,” John Tavares said. “These are games when you learn how to win and those are big parts of the game.”