Considering Dwayne Roloson’s performance over the past week, the Islanders did little by way of showing thanks during 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, Roloson was given little help from his teammates as they faced their division rivals, the New York Rangers, at Madison Square Garden last night.
Just like the streets of Manhattan were pelted with snow in a blizzard one night prior, Roloson was besieged by a 52-shot onslaught of Rangers offense last night.
"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 surrendered as many goals as he did against Tampa Bay, New Jersey and Montreal combined over the previous five days.
And it was through little fault of his own, as his team gave up a whopping 36 shots throughout the first two periods.
In an embarrassing second period, the Islanders were outshot 18-4 and put undue pressure on their 41-year-old netminder by taking two delay-of-game penalties. They managed only four shots in both the second and third periods while giving up Grade-A quality chances on the other end.
"We hung our goalie out to dry," head coach Jack Capuano said.
The Rangers scored a pair of goals in the middle frame to snap a 2-2 first period draw. 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 fr a 4-2 Rangers lead at 18:21.
Roloson held the Islanders in the game for as long as he could, but showed signs of fatigue in the third, when he gave up three goals to the Rangers. Surprisingly, Capuano chose not to pull him--even if only for the sake of mental relief.
"Knowing Roli the way I think I do, I thought he'd want to stay in and battle for his team," Capuano said.
"When you're out there, you don't want to put someone else in that situation," said Roloson, who also stoically took the blame for the loss.
Backup goaltender Rick DiPietro, who was recently activated off IR Saturday (knee swelling), told Newsday that he was ready to play if necessary.
Roloson could hardly be blamed for the early hole the Islanders found themselves in less than one minute after puck drop at center ice.
Gilroy scored his first goal in over a year when his shot found Schremp’s stick in front of the net for an early Rangers lead 44 seconds into play.
And 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 quickly in the second and third periods. The Islanders were outshot 34-8 over the last forty 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."