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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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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Western Road Trip Starts Off Strong, Loses Steam

Islanders 4: Ducks 5 (OT)
Islanders 0: Kings 1

After the Isles' great win in Vancouver, they kind of lost a big one in Anaheim. After getting out to a good lead, they coughed up two goals in the final period and then immediately lost the game in the first seconds of overtime.

It happened like this: Richard Park, Kyle Okposo, Kyle Okposo, and John Tavares, in that order. Park crashed the net and got one past Jonas Hiller at 9:53, then Okposo made some pretty moves into the zone and deflected the puck off of Lubomir Visnovsky's skate for a goal in the last minute of the first period. That pulled the Isles to a 2-2 tie after Visnovsky and Matt Beleskey had scored to give the Ducks a lead. In the second, Okposo chased Hiller with a shot from a sharp angle that willed its way through Hiller's arm and into the back of the net. Then Tavares got a pass from Frans Nielsen and a great screen from Matt Moulson to break in Curtis McElhinney, who came on in relief for Hiller.

But after that, Jason Blake was in the right place at the right time, having a puck deflected off of him on the power play to pull the Ducks within one. Then Visnovsky scored his second in the final 30 seconds of regulation- a real shame, as Martin Biron was definitely making up for some earlier gaffes with some good saves. Then in overtime, Bruno Gervais skated through the neutral zone with the puck and coughed it up to Saku Koivu, who flew in on Biron all alone and placed the puck perfectly for the overtime winner at :14. A heartbreaker for sure, but at least the Isles were able to hold onto a point.

Perhaps even more frustrating than a loss like that is a loss by only one goal- especially if that one goal is the only one scored in the entire game. And last night, that goal was scored by the wrong team. Brad Richardson scored his 11th of the season for the L.A. Kings, and Jonathan Quick got his fourth shutout of the season with 26 saves. This sounded and looked like a pretty even matchup, the only difference being the one mistake by the Isles' defense to allow a screen in front of Dwayne Roloson for the eventual gamewinner. However, you know it's a good night for netminders when both goalies ended up getting stars in the game (Quick with the first, Roli with the second), and the Isles head back to New York for a matchup with those pesky backyard foes, the Rangers, on Wednesday night at MSG. If I can get the time and a feed for this one, then all will be right with the world, because there's nothing I love better than a good Rangers-Isles matchup and a night of trash-talk with my favorite Rangers fans!

Let's go Islanders!

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