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Isles vs. Coyotes

 Isles fall 4-3 in shootout

See game recap in blog post above

Isles lead Coyotes 2-1 after 2nd period

Islanders score two goals within five-and-a-half minutes in the second period to take a one-goal lead heading into the third. If they can hold on for the next 20 minutes, that will be the first time this season they have come back to win after surrendering the first goal.

Jesse Joensuu was involved in both, first burying a nice cross-ice feed from John Tavares then picking up an assist after connecting with speedy winger Michael Grabner for the go-ahead goal at 14:46.

Regardless of the circumstances behind his start, hats off to Nathan Lawson, who is looking sharp in his NHL debut.

Isles trail Coyotes 1-0 after first period

Radim Vrbata's redirect of Shane Doan's point shot at 6:57 gives the Coyotes a power-play goal and a 1-0 first-period load.

Islanders did a good job getting pucks to the net and generating chances but came out of the period with nothing to show for it. Credit to Jason LaBarbera and Coyotes PK for that.

***

A strange day continues as the Isles get ready to take on Phoenix with emergency call-up Nathan Lawson making his first NHL start.

The news about Rick DiPietro's knee swelling takes a back seat to the far more compelling question of the day: Why snub steady veteran Dwayne Roloson?

Sources have assured me that 1) Roloson is perfectly healthy and 2) the move is in no way related to tomorrow's NHL roster freeze.

Never a dull day here.

New York Sports