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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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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Isles Provide Start, Oilers the Finish in Edmonton

Islanders 2: Oilers 3

The youngsters provided some great offense and helped the Isles reach a lead quickly in Rexall Place. Would they finally hold it, would be the question.

Answer? No.

Try as they might, the Isles squandered yet another 2-0 lead over two periods, and the Oilers came from behind to steal the two points, 3-2. Pretty impressive, considering they showed hardly any signs of life in the opening period. At 4:02, after some good pressure by the Isles, Kyle Okposo took advantage of a giveaway by Shawn Horcoff and beat Dwayne Roloson high on the glove side. They preserved that lead well, taking away any offensive opportunity Edmonton tried to create, and Joey MacDonald stood up very well, particularly during a penalty to Chris Campoli. On a Edmonton penalty, however, the Isles made them pay. Campoli made a pretty tape-to-tape pass to Josh Bailey, who in turn made an equally nice pass to Blake Comeau for the power play goal low on the blocker side, putting the Isles up 2-0.

Whatever Craig MacTavish, the Oilers' head coach, screamed at them during the first intermission must have paid off, however; the Oilers stormed the offensive zone, shooting from practically everywhere and putting bodies in front of the net. At 10:55, it paid off. Kyle Brodziak shot the puck to the crease, where it redirected off of Brendan Witt's skate and past MacDonald to halve the lead. Over three minutes later, Jason Strudwick scored one that would be reviewed to make sure the dreaded "distinct kicking motion" was not made. If only it were; the goal stood, 2-all.

The third period was one in which the Oilers took the lead and the game, off of the stick of Andrew Cogliano. Cogliano passed to Marc-Antoine Pouliot, who shot and was stopped by Joey Mac, but once again the rebound killed him- Cogliano snagged it and scored his 12th of the year. After that, the Islanders couldn't find the wherewithal to get past Roloson once more. Unfortunately, as my eyes were sagging by the beginning of the third, I couldn't find the strength to keep awake for the entire game, so when I saw the Isles couldn't make a comeback, I felt my heart sink, and it will stay that way likely until next game, at Calgary.

Notes: Mark Streit snapped his five-game points streak... Doug Weight sat out this game with a leg injury, and was congratulated warmly by the fans in Edmonton. In nine seasons, he scored more than half of his 1,000 points there (577)... The Isles have gone 21-for-21 in penalty kills dating back to their Dec. 27th match at Buffalo.

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