For 40 minutes, the Islanders were on top of their games. They outworked a team that is without a doubt better than them in every facet of the game. But like most of the season, the Isles lacked the firepower to put their opposition away and rested on their laurels on defense, leading to an eventual shootout loss.
â€œWeâ€™ve been playing a lot better,â€ Okposo told the Associated Press. â€œWe know we can win with the guys in this locker room.â€
Things went the Islanders way early on as Radek Martinek scored on a shot from the point that Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Marty Biron failed to get the best view of. Frans Nielsen continued his excellent play as of late, but was a second too short, as his goal in traffic was null and void at the end of the first.
Jeff Tambellini doubled the Islanders lead in the second, swatting a puck out of mid-air [has someone been playing Wii-Sports lately?]. With one-year left on his contract, Tambellini has been a different player during the second half, scoring four of his six goals in the 21 games following the All-Star break, which would put him on pace for about 15 goals for the season. That I believe wouldn’t be too shabby for the kid this season, especially considering that many thought he’d start to show a bit more of a goal scorers touch this season. However, with his improved play, Tambellini should still have one last chance to prove if he can be a top six forward in this league.
With a 2-0 lead, the Isles got lucky when Mike Richards hit the post late in the period. Before that, the fists began to fly and the Flyers got some momentum the old fashioned way. Going into the third, they had the Islanders on their heels.
Scoring three unanswered goals in 3:55, the Flyers were quickly in the drivers seat, but just 32 seconds later, Mark Streit tallied to tie the game and eventually take it into overtime.
After an uneventful overtime period, the Islanders went into the shootout where Brendan Witt, ironically went first. Simply put, you cannot waste a spot like that on a player that despite having a heart of warrior, is not a goal scorer. Tambellini had a goal in the game and has always had success in that spot, why not throw him in there and continue to build his confidence?
I know the season’s been long over and the team would like to increase their odds of getting John Tavares and do so without being too obvious, but there it wasn’t.