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by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
In his fourth straight start Thursday night, goaltender Dwayne Roloson made 37 saves helping the Islanders earn their first point in nine games, as the fell 2-1 in a shoot out to the San Jose Sharks at the HP Pavilion. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle scored a 5-on-3 goal in the second and netted the winner in the shoot out. In the effort, Roloson was awarded the third star of the game.

“At least we got a point, so I guess that’s a positive, but close doesn’t cut it anymore,” said Roloson. “We’ve got to take the step as a team to do whatever it takes to win a hockey game. We have to stop the bleeding now. I can’t worry about anything other than what I do and that’s trying to give our guys a chance to win.”

The Islanders put themselves on the scoreboard for the first time in more than 117 minutes when forward PA Parenteau scored a wrist shot as he wrapped around the back of the net, and shot from the slot. Jack Hillen found Parenteau after receiving a pass back to the point off the faceoff from John Tavares at the right faceoff circle.

The goal gave the Islanders their first lead in a game since their win over Tampa Bay on October 21. In this nine game span, the Islanders had not held a lead in a game in 546:46.

“We competed. That’s been the case in the last four games. After we got shelled in Philadelphia and Carolina just getting a sense of urgency (was important), and we battled and competed for all the loose pucks,” said Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. “We’ve been strong on the puck and it’s been ongoing. It wasn’t like it just happened tonight. We have been doing it for about three games prior to tonight and unfortunately we just can’t score.”

The lead was short-lived, as the game-tying goal came just 9:35 later, the result of two quick penalties within six seconds of each other. The Islanders were down 5-on-3 when  Hillen was called for interference at 14:04 and Mike Mottau took a penalty for delay of game as he lifted the puck out of play at 14:10.

Boyle capitalized on the opportunity and tied the score off the faceoff in front of Roloson with a shot from the top of the circle at 14:26.

The penalties to Hillen and Mottau were the final two of five penalties on the night.

Despite Roloson’s dynamic play, he said his teammates played a great game as well. “Our guys did a great job in front of me,” said Roloson. “They blocked a lot of shots and kept it to the outside.”

The Islanders had one power play opportunity in the first when Sharks defenseman Niclas Wallin lifted the puck over the glass and into the stands receiving a delay of game penalty at 12:21. Unfortunately the Islanders were held to eight shots that period, and the game remained scoreless until the second.

Boyle came up big for the Sharks as he also scored the game-winning goal during the shootout. Sharks center Logan Couture also scored on his attempt. Islanders forwards Parenteau and Frans Nielsen were unable to sneak one past Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki, who made 24 saves on the night.

In spite of the loss, Coach Gordon has seen positives in his team’s performance.

“We were able to, especially in the third period and overtime, outshoot them 10-8,” said Gordon. “That shows that our team is not going to quit and as bad as the circumstances have been over the last stretch here, I have to give the guys a lot of credit for their willingness to compete.”
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