In desperate need of a win after eight straight losses, the Islanders turned to 41-year-old goaltender Dwayne Roloson to face San Jose in the second of back-to-back games last night.
Roloson was superb in his fourth consecutive start--stopping 37 of 38 shots in regulation-- but the Islanders dropped their ninth straight game, a 2-1 shootout loss at HP Pavilion last night.
The Islanders earned a point for the first time in nine games, but they couldn't pull out the win in the shootout.
After Logan Couture slipped one through Roloson's pads, both P.A. Parenteau and Frans Nielsen failed to find the back of the net; Parenteau's shot went wide right and Antero Niittymaki gloved Nielsen's backhand attempt. Roloson stopped the Sharks second shooter Joe Pavelski with his left pad, but was beat by Dan Boyle's backhander in the third round for the game-winner.
"Close doesn't cut it anymore," Roloson said. "We have to do what it takes to win a hockey game and stop the bleeding now."
Taking a lead for the first time in nine games with Parenteau's wrister at 4:51 of the second, things were beginning to look up for the Islanders.
"It's so important in this league to get a lead. I think our record shows that when we get a lead we can get points. We've got the guys to do it in this locker room," Parenteau said.
But two Islanders penalties in the third period within five seconds of each other gave the Sharks 1:55 of 5-on-3 time and they took advantage almost immediately.
16 seconds into the two-man advantage, Boyle scored the equalizer that ultimately sent the game to overtime.
Even after taking a hard shot to the mask late in the third period, Roloson stood strong in overtime, but San Jose edged the Islanders out of a win that would've snapped their frustrating streak with Boyle's shootout winner.
"He's played some many great games for us lately," said defenseman Jack Hillen of Roloson. "It's frustrating for the team and it's frustrating that we can't do it for him because he's been playing so well for us."
Coach Scott Gordon chose to see the silver lining despite the team's difficult and dismal slump.
"It's not an easy situation to come into this building having played the night before knowing they're sitting here waiting for us," coach Scott Gordon said. "As bad as circumstances have been in this stretch here, I've got to give the guys credit for their willingness to compete."