Bridgestone Arena has been one of the toughest venues in the entire NHL this season as the Predators have lost only six times prior to tonight’s contest but the New York Islanders made it number seven with a 4-3 victory.
The Islanders were leading most of the game until the Predators scored two goals within 31 seconds in the third period to tie it. However, the resilient Islanders found a way to battle back. Michael Grabner fired a low, hard slap shot that created a glorious rebound opportunity. Brock Nelson charged up ice and buried the rebound to give the Islanders the lead.
“They are a good home team and they have a really good hockey club,” Jack Capuano told MSG following the game. “I liked the way we were resilient tonight. Even when they got the two quick goals we battled back and found a way to win.”
The Islanders were without forwards Matt Martin and newly acquired Tyler Kenendy. Martin had to serve his one game suspension after kneeing Stars’ defenseman Trevor Daley in the team’s previous game. Kennedy was sent back to New York for further evaluation. Casey Cizikas and Eric Boulton were both activated off IR and returned to the lineup.
“Overall I was pleased with the way they (Cizikas and Boulton) played,” Capuano continued. “They gave us some good minutes. They are only going to get better as we move forward.”
Islanders captain John Tavares scored the games' first goal in the first period. It was Tavares' 31st goal of the season equaling his career high set back in 2011-12.
The Islanders looked to be heading into the first intermission with a two-goal lead after an Anders Lee power-play goal but Nashville’s Colin Wilson would score with 1.2 seconds remaining in the first frame.
The Islanders have made a habit of allowing late period goals since the all-star break. Per MSG Statistician Eric Hornick, The Islanders have allowed six goals (not including empty netters) in the final 30 seconds of a period since January 27th.
However, the Islanders have now earned three points in the first two games of their four game road and continue to stay atop the Metropolitan Division.
“Like to take as many points as you can on the road,” Capuano concluded. “We played pretty good in Dallas too and tonight I thought we played real well. We just have to keep playing with confidence and poise in our game.”
By: Scott Charles
WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY Staff Writer
Islanders Insight Senior Editor
Follow us on Twitter @sportstalkny and @Scottmcharles
Tune in each week on 540 am in NY NJ CT and streaming on www.sportstalknyradio.com at 7pm Sundays for the live broadcast. Please take a moment to like our fan page WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY, check out the show's YOUTUBE Page "SPORTSTALKNY" and the facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/SPORTSTALKNY