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Isles fall to Blues

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders
Kyle Okposo tries to beat St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott. l
The New York Islanders were able to get a win in a tough building on Tuesday in Winnipeg, but could not repeat that success at Scottrade Center, losing 5-1 to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

The Islanders got off to a good road start as Frans Nielsen gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead 59 seconds into the game. But the Blues bounced back scoring five unanswered goals, reaffirming their dominance on home ice as they improved to 25-3-4 in St. Louis.

“I don’t think the score indicates how the game went,” PA Parenteau said. “It’s frustrating. It was a big game, we started well and then we gave it right back to them.”

The Blues made life difficult for Al Montoya with three goals scored on deflections. Bodies were parked in front of the goal all night. Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron and T.J. Oshie all tipped home point-shots from Alex Pietrangelo. Andy McDonald and Jason Arnott rounded out the scoring for the Blues.

“They have good net presence,” Jack Capuano said. “We have to have the ability to get in blocking lanes. We have to face pucks and get in those lanes and they were able to get some sticks on those pucks tonight.”

Montoya was the surprise starter Thursday night as Evgeni Nabokov was suffering from flu-like symptoms. Steve Staios was also a last minute scratch, as he fell ill with the stomach flu. It was Montoya’s first start since Jan. 24.

The Islanders entered the game as the leagues eighth-ranked penalty kill, but paid the price for taking penalties as the Blues went 2-3 on the man advantage.

Brian Elliott continued his all-star campaign, rebounding after the early goal for 26 saves, frustrating the Islanders all evening.  The Blues continued to be stingy gatekeepers to the West and are now 12-0-2 against Eastern Conference foes. The Islanders five-game road point streak could not make it home through the arch.

“We had a few lapses that essentially cost us the game,” Andrew MacDonald said. “I think we skated well with them. I don’t think we got outworked.”

With the loss the Isles sit eight points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the eighth playoff spot.

“We understand the importance of the game. They are all big points right now,” Capuano said. “We can’t dwell on this too much. There are things that we can learn from this game, but we have to get ready for Saturday night.”

They look to get back on track Saturday night as they go for the season sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes at Nassau Coliseum. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

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