Jack Capuano ‘had no doubts’ about breaking losing streak

The Islanders halted a three-game losing streak with a win over the Blackhawks on Saturday, but for head coach Jack Capuano this win comes as no surprise (Newsday, Dec. 14).

“I had no doubts we’d get back on track,” Capuano said Sunday. “We needed to have that attitude, that swagger back and get rid of some self-inflicted wounds we had the past couple games.”

Before Saturday night, they had given up 17 goals in their last three losses, two to the Blues and one to the Wild.

Islanders notebook: Leddy faces-off against former team

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Nick Leddy could smile after playing his former team Saturday night because his new team was the one that came out on top.

NHL: New York Islanders at Minnesota WildThe Islander defenseman played 19:28 and had an assist on Kyle Okposo’s game tying goal in at 10:10 of the third period. The soft spoken Leddy said the win against the Chicago Blackhawks felt very good.

“It was a fun game playing against my buddies,” Leddy said afterwards. “Those guys are great friends to me. It’s always good to see them.”

Leddy was swarmed by reporters Saturday morning, after the Islanders morning skate, as the team prepared to play one of the NHL’s best teams. Leddy spent four years in Chicago before he was traded to the Islanders prior to the start of the season.

“We were good friends actually,” Brandan Saad said about his former teammate. “He’s a good player and he plays with a lot of speed, and has a lot of skill. I was to see him go, but he’s doing a good job there.”

Others Blackhawks also spoke highly of their former teammate. Patrick Kane noted Leddy’s skating ability and how dangerous he can be.

“The one thing you’re not going to do tonight is chase him behind the net because he’s going to leave you in the dust,” Kane said prior to Saturday’s game. “He’s got a lot of talent. He’s still pretty young, but great skater, great shot, very fun to play with offensively. he can make a lot of plays where he was setting you up for good chances.

“He’s got a bright career ahead of him. We’ll miss him here for sure.”

Leddy has been given more responsibility since he arrived on Long Island. With both Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk still sidelined by injury he’s been given even more responsibility an ice time. To read more of this story, click here

Isles end losing streak with dramatic 3-2 win over the Blackhawks

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Chicago Blackhawks seem to bring out the best in the Islanders.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at New York IslandersThe Islanders defeated the Blackhawks 3-2, which is the same score that they beat Chicago during their last visit to Nassau Coliseum during the 2013-14 season. Even more coincidental is the fact that, like last year’s battle at the Coliseum, Kyle Okposo played a big role in an Islanders’ comeback.

Okposo’s power play goal at 10:10 of the third period tied the game up at two, which set up Lubomir Visnovsky to play hero 51 seconds later.

“It’s a great challenge. They’re one of the best teams in the league,” Okposo said about playing the Blackhawks. “We want to show that we can play with those teams and this year we’ve had a pretty good stretch there. Then hit a little bump in the road. Tonight we’re playing arguably the best team in the league and we want to come out and have a better effort at home.

“We were able to do that.” To read more of this story, click here

Recap: Islanders 3 – Blackhawks 2

Recap: The Islanders rallied in the third period to knock off the Blackhawks in Uniondale, New York on Saturday night.

Need to know: Trailing 2-1 in the third period, the Islanders rallied halfway through the period with two goals a minute apart. Kyle Okposo scored on a power-play 10:10 in to tie the score. Less than a minute later, Lubomir Visnovsky scored at even strength for a 3-2 advantage. Jaroslav Halak had 23 saves for the  Islanders. New York did have 41 shots in the game.

Links: Gameview 

Next Up: The Islanders host the Devils on Monday.

Game day (30): Blackhawks at Islanders, 7 pm

at
Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Blackhawks… Chicago is riding an eight game winning streak into Nassau Coliseum. On Thursday they defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 at TD Garden. They are the first team in the NHL to reach 20 wins… The Blackhawks are sixth in the NHL in goals scored per game (3.00)… The Blackhawks own the best penalty-kill percentage in the National Hockey League. They have a 91.5 percent success rate this season.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Nick Leddy will see his former team for the first time this season.

The Isles will host the Chicago Blackhawks at Nassau Coliseum tonight and try to snap a three-game losing. Leddy played four seasons with the Blackhawks before he was traded to the Islanders before the start of the season.

With the Islanders down two of their best defenseman, Leddy has been a player that head coach Jack Capuano has given more ice time to. On Thursday night he led the defenseman in ice time with 20:27.

“There’s no question that guys are getting more minutes than they used to,” Capuano said. “A guy like Nick, he’s a penalty kill guy for us. He’s playing first unit power play for us. He’s playing four-on-four in all situations and he’s defended real well for us.

“You lean on a young guy like that to step up and do the job.”

Leddy has already been given more responsibility since he has arrived on Long Island and with Boychuk and Hamonic both still sidelined he has received even more opportunities. One of the biggest attributes that Leddy brought — along with Boychuck — is that both have won and played on top teams.

In situations like the Islanders current one it can come in handy and Leddy has relished the chance to get more responsibility since he came to the Islanders in October.

“Obviously every player wants to play more,” Leddy said. “Every player wants to be in those situations, big situations, and thats the type of player I want to be and hopefully I can keep improving.”

The Islanders will make some changes to their lineup, including on the defensive end. Griffin Reinhart will take Brian Strait’s place on the blue line and Josh Bailey will take Eric Boulton’s spot up front. Jaroslav Halak will start in net.

Hamonic and Boychuk are both still day-to-day, according to Capuano.

Conacher loaned to Bridgeport

Center Cory Conacher has cleared waivers and been loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Sound Tigers are the AHL affiliate of the Islanders.

In 15 games played this year Conacher has scored one goal with 2 assists.

Grabner report card, presented by Long Island University

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Michael Grabner is back and the Islanders have benefited from his presence back on the ice.

In four games this season the Austrian winger has put up two goals — scoring Dec. 6 against the St. Louis Blues and Dec. 9 against the Minnesota Wild.

Long Island University SmallGrabner also plays a big role in the Islanders penalty kill. The PK has been struggling this season and having Grabner back in the lineup could help that. He is smart in his own zone and has been an effective penalty killer when he is on the ice.

Grabner has missed all but four games this season, so his quick jump into the lineup is a good sign for the team.

GRADE: B