Tuesday night in Uniondale NY, the New York Islanders snapped a 4 game losing streak with their 3-1 win over the visiting Nashville Predators.
NY Islander’s goaltender Kevin Poulin was called on for a rare back to back start in which he won his second home game (his last home win at Nassau Veteran’s Coliseum was Nov 2nd against the Boston Bruins). Poulin stopped 32 of the 33 shots against him, as well as held the Predators scoreless on the Power Play.
The Predators who were without injured Goaltender Pekka Rinne, gave the young Marek Mazanek his first NHL start, following Carter Hutton playing the night before in NJ.
The Islanders 1st line of Rookie Brock Nelson- John Tavares- Kyle Okposo performed extremely well, scoring twice on the night in the absence of injured Left Wing Thomas Vanek.
John Tavares tallied the games first goal on the Power Play, when teammate Frans Nielsen fed him a cross-ice pass that he buried high on Marek Mazanek’s glove side to give the Islanders the early lead. Later on in the 1st period Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored high glove on Marek Mazanek from an extremely deep angle, after recovering Frans Nielsen’s faceoff win to give the Islanders the 2-0 lead.
During the 2nd period after holding possession through the neutral zone, Travis Hamonic fed the puck to Brock Nelson, who drop passed through his legs to John Tavares. Tavares then drove to the net before dishing to the puck to a wide open Kyle Okposo who scored on a one-timer beating Mazanek for the 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Predators they didn’t start scoring until the 3rd period, when an Islanders defensive breakdown during the Predators rush caused Patric Hornqvist to have a one on one opportunity against Rookie Defenseman Matt Donovan. Though Donovan steered him to the outside, Hornqvist just managed to beat Kevin Poulin to deny him of his first ever NHL Shutout.
Final score was 3-2 Islanders. Islanders move to 7-9-3 and the Predators move to 8-8-2.
Predators play the Penguins at the Consol Energy Center on Friday to conclude their road trip, and the Islanders face the LA Kings Thursday at Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.
Three Stars of the Game
1) Kevin Poulin
2) John Tavares
3) Frans Nielsen