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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

One Step Closer...?

Islanders 2 : Panthers 4

One shot. That was all Blake Comeau needed. A shot by Park on Tomas Vokoun kicked out... the puck on his stick... empty net on the other end... Vokoun down, net gaping at him. As quickly as he could, he flipped a backhand shot...

And missed.

That was the last chance the Isles got, as just a moment later, Brett McLean calmly pushed in an empty-net goal to seal the deal for the Panthers, who have won five straight and are making a serious playoff push. Meanwhile, the sputtering Isles, who have lost four straight now, have to only focus on what was right for the team, which was more than in the previous two games combined.

The young guys were great in this one, as Comeau scored a goal and also did everything right, including taking that chance that just wasn't meant to be. Jeff Tambellini also had a strong game, with plenty of sharp plays. The Isles actually scored first in this game, which was another plus- a five-hole shot by Bill Guerin early in the second on a good play initiated by Tambellini. However, Florida got it back quickly on Kamil Kreps' goal. Stephen Weiss would make it 2-1 1:05 into the third, but- who else?- Comeau would score his fourth of the season on the power play. Rick DiPietro was quietly effective, making good saves and staying in the net more (28 saves), but he just let in one too many, 1:58 after Comeau's goal, on a shot by Skrastins unassisted.

So what now? The Isles remain further away from the playoff picture, but thanks to some well-timed vulnerability by the Philadelphia Flyers, teams who are further out of it may well be able to steal a spot if they can up the ante and get their game together.

Notes: Brendan Witt sat out this game with his knee sprain, and Andy Hilbert (ankle) missed his second straight... also, Jeremy Colliton (illness) and Ruslan Fedotenko were out. Fedotenko has a shoulder injury and may well miss the rest of the season... Steve Regier, Tim Jackman, and Matthew Spiller were recalled from Bridgeport.

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