The Islanders continue their pre-season schedule against the New Jersey Devils.
Kevin Poulin gets the start after playing in Calgary the other night, albeit very sloppy. This is his time to prove to the fans and the coaching staff that he is to be considered for the future. However, his time to do so is running thin.
Anders Lee, who is vying for a spot on the Islanders roster scores a beautiful goal in the first period from Brock Nelson. The goal was scored on the powerplay during the first period.
As the period progressed, Josh Bailey scored shorthanded to make it 2-0. Kyle Okposo got the assist.
Then the Devils answer right back to cut the lead to 2-1. The goal scored by Rusty Olesz.
I have to say right off the bat the offense is much better than the other night but I still worry about Poulin in net. He seems to be letting up juicy rebounds and that is unacceptable. The Islanders need a reliable back-up goaltender that will be able to give Nabokov a rest when needed.
Of the new additions the Islanders made, Peter Regin might be a sleeper. I have enjoyed watching Regin in these two pre-season games. On Tuesday night in Calgary and tonight in Jersey I have noticed his number quiet a bit. He is playing an aggressive game.
Have to admit the Bailey-Nielson-Okposo line has looked much better than the other night in Calgary. Much more in-sync.
How about a set-up for Saturday in Brooklyn... The Islanders Brett Gallant and the Devils Krys Barch with an insane fight matching blow for blow.
And how about this folks the Bailey-Nielson-Okposo line strikes again. Bailey with his second of the game makes it 3-1.
We have an Eric Boulton sighting....scoring a goal! Makes it 4-1 as the 1st period comes to an end.
As the second period starts the Islanders look to continue their impressive start to the game.
And just like that the Devils pull within two as Marek Zidlicky scores.
How about that-- Jon Merrill makes it a one goal game as the Islanders lead 4-3.
Kevin Poulin looks shaky again tonight.
As the second period ended, the Islanders are still lucky to have maintained a one goal lead heading into the final period.
I have to be honest with you, even though Poulin is making a few nice saves there is reason for concern that he is not an NHL caliber goaltender.
As the third period starts the Islanders can only hope it is better than the second period.
Peter Regin gets on the score sheet which makes it 5-3 Islanders.
Again, Poulin has made some nice quality saves but he is still not looking great in net. In a competition with four other goalies for the back-up spot he has to play much better then what he is showing fans and management right now.
For the third time in the game Brett Gallant and Krys Barch square off, however this time Barch gets the best of Gallant. They are certainly setting up the showdown in Brooklyn to be a classic one.
As the game comes to a close, the Islanders will win 5-3 over the Devils. However, the score does not indicate the whole story. Like I said Poulin made some nice saves when he had to but he didn't wow me tonight to the point where I would say "I have confidence in him as the back-up to Nabokov." I think fans should be nervous.
However, there is another pre-season game to be played between these two teams on Saturday in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center.