Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Kevin Poulin recorded his first win of the season in impressive fashion Saturday night, allowing just one goal and stoping 26 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins.
The Islanders strong defensive performance made Poulin’s job easier, but the Bruins did test the young netminder and he passed with flying colors. The 23-year-old played with confidence and was aggressive throughout the game.
“I thought Kevin really played well tonight,” Islander head coach Jack Capuano said. “A team like that … they crash the net probably as hard as I’ve seen a team. They’ve got great net presence and their big bodies. You have to track the puck, you have to be aggressive in there and I thought he was [playing] real well. He battled hard for us.”
Going into Saturday night’s game, Poulin hadn’t played since last Saturday, when the Islanders lost 5-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Coliseum. Poulin said he felt good right from the start of the game against Boston.
“I played a week ago, so you get that momentum,” Poulin explained. “I had a good week of practice. We practiced a lot. Did a lot of goalie drills and I was ready for that.”
The former fifth round pick also credited his defense for making his job “pretty easy.”
“We did an excellent job to block shots,” Poulin started off saying. “Every point shot I didn’t have people in front of me so it was easy for me to just get that save, and no rebounds. I think I did a good job of keeping those pucks with me and not giving much rebounds.”
Despite losing his two previous starts the Islanders did not feel that it was indicative of how he was playing in those games. Thomas Hickey felt he was put in tough positions playing against tough teams.
“You look at his matchups this year, he’s been put in some tough spots,” Hickey said. “Going against Chicago he played great there. Philadelphia we didn’t give him a good enough performance and tonight he was good against a really good hockey team.”
After the win, Capuano agreed that he felt that Poulin’s play was a bit of a statement. However he was somewhat noncommittal about Poulin getting more starts.
“We know what he can do,” he said. “We’ve seen enough of him develop in Bridgeport and how he competes and the games he played when he was here last year… We have two solid goaltenders and we’re going to need them. It’s a long season.”