The Islanders spent much of the lockout-shortened training camp talking about wanting to get off to a fast start. Just one game — and loss — into the abbreviated season and they could be looking at another slow one instead with a rough schedule ahead. The Islanders, who played without head coach Jack Capuano (kidney stones) in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Devils, host the explosive Lightning, fresh off an impressive 6-3 win over the Capitals, today and then go on the road for a back-to-back with the Maple Leafs and Bruins later in the week. "For sure, we have to come out with some desperation and understand we don't have time to find our game and get rolling," center John Tavares said yesterday after a light practice at Nassau Coliseum. The Isles put together a solid third period after starting slow against New Jersey. They began forcing the action in the Devils zone with an aggressive forecheck and getting almost as many shots on net — nine — as they did over the first two periods, when they managed 10. "We have to do the same thing from the start of next game, a full 60 minutes like that," said right winger Michael Grabner, who was active but failed to finish off a few clear chances against the Devils. Capuano's status for today's game is unknown. He came to the arena yesterday, but wasn't involved in practice. It is also uncertain who will be in net, Evgeni Nabokov or Rick DiPietro, who received massive boos during player introductions. Nabokov was solid against the Devils, coming up with 26 saves. He was shielded on David Clarkson's game-winner midway through the third period.
Islanders looking to avoid slow start
New York Post | Jan 21