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Islanders 4, Panthers 5* (SO): Just ban the 2nd period already

This team likes its OT, doesn't it? Ten times in 20 games. WebBard did the dirty work, finding that post-lockout (shootout era), the 2006-07 Penguins went to OT 27 times. At this rate, the Isles will fly right by that mark and give us all three whole games' worth of extra hockey.

Game Sum. | Event Sum. | Recaps: | Isles

Final - 11.14.2009 1 2 3 OT SO Total
New York Islanders 2 0 2 0 0 4
Florida Panthers 0 3 1 0 1* 5*

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Good news: They jumped out ahead quickly -- again. Bad news: They blew a multi-goal lead -- again (three games in a row; six so far in 2009-10). Bad news: The second period (particularly the 2nd half of it) about sunk them, again, as they were outshot 15-7 and outscored 3-0. Good news: They came back to tie it and resolve the game via their preferred method of choice, OT/shootout.

Best news: When the Islanders needed saving, down 4-2 in the 3rd after a couple of soul-crushing goals on each side of intermission, it was two familiar heroes to the rescue: Dear World, get used to hearing about John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Fanboy me says: May they be Islanders for life.

This is a late recap and all -- I'm still recovering from last night as I skim through a recording of this game -- so I'll just add a few observations and let you bring up whatever comes to mind. On nights when I miss the live game, it's always fun coming back and reading y'all's in-the-moment thoughts from the game thread.

Hunter's Shot: Scoring with a heavy wrister from near the blueline to make it 2-0, Trent Hunter again reminds me why Scott Gordon called his the best release on the team. I again apologize for even daring to question that ranking.

Tavares's Instincts: Timing his approach for the second rebound on the powerplay, Tavares reminds us why all the scouts raved about him "from the hashmarks in" and were gaga over his offensive instincts. (Streit shoots from the point, Nielsen digs the rebound, JT buries it.) Some guys just smell where the puck is going to be, some have the ability to get into position for it, and a few have that and the knack to place it past goalies like Tomas Vokoun.

Frans Nielsen's Deke: Oh Frans, your shootout move mesmerizes me so. When will NHL goalies catch on?

Roloson's Night: Dwayne Roloson didn't look so good on the the first, second or fourth goals, but that will happen sometimes when you face 42 shots. (The third was an agonizing scramble of shadowing bodies around him, while the puck sat next to his pad with no one but the TV audience able to shout about it.)

Defensive Pairings: Rough night for the pairing of Brendan Witt and Freddy Meyer. Witt was on for two even-strength goals against and Frolik's powerplay goal. This is hardly a new observation, but: I'm resigned to part of the Islanders' on-going challenge being the search to make use of Witt, who provides strength but not mobility, and Meyer, who provides blips of both but is hardly elite in either. The Andy Sutton-Jack Hillen pairing is another version of this, though those two provide more of each attribute. Such is the depth hole left my Radek Martinek's injury.

Strong puck-handling defensemen who can also muscle off opposing forwards are hard to find, but if the Islanders ever get more of them {:cough: Hamonic}, I think Gordon's system is going to shine.

Up Next: Boston, Monday night. As I've learned when recording games this year, plan on adding 15 minutes for OT.