The New York Islanders went 2-0-1 in their three games played this week. All three games were played at home as part of a six-game homestand. They lost to the Sharks before picking up wins against the Blue Jackets in regulation and the Kings in overtime. The Islanders have a 12-7-7 record with 31 points and sit in the top three in the Metropolitan Division.
Blown Three-Goal Lead Results in an Overtime Loss to Sharks
The Islanders started the week by hosting one of the worst teams in the league, the San Jose Sharks. Julien Gauthier scored in his second straight game at the 9:28 mark of the first to open the scoring. The Sharks answered back later in the period when Tomas Hertl got a prime opportunity in the high slot to tie it. The Islanders started to grasp control of the game after Brock Nelson fired in a go-ahead power play goal.
In the third, Mike Reilly scored his first goal as an Islander with a slap shot to give the team a 3-1 lead. Just minutes after that, Ryan Pulock one-timed a shot on a power play to go up by three goals. With a little over eight minutes left and a big lead, this should’ve been a game the Isles had in hand. Instead, they started to falter, beginning with a turned-over puck that led to Kevin Lebanc’s first goal of the season. Then, Hertl completed his hat trick with a pair of six-on-five goals to tie this game and send it to overtime. The Islanders had a couple of loud posts in overtime, but ultimately could not salvage this train wreck of a game. With five seconds to go, William Eklund buried the game-winning goal past Ilya Sorokin. The Sharks beat the Islanders by a 5-4 final score in shocking fashion.
Largest Margin of Victory Comes Against Blue Jackets
After Tuesday’s devastating loss, the Islanders sought to right the ship against the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets. They took the lead just four minutes into the game, courtesy of a great shot from Pierre Engvall. After a solid first period, the team struggled mightily in the first half of the second period. First, Emil Bemstrom took a feed off the boards and buried the game-tying goal. Then, at the 10:11 mark, Adam Fantilli ripped in the go-ahead goal past Semyon Varlamov.
With the crowd getting restless as the Islanders struggled to escape their zone, they got some life in the latter half of the period. Cal Clutterbuck got set up with a great opportunity in the slot and tied the game at the 15:11 mark of the period. This was followed by Mat Barzal scoring the go-ahead goal on a rebounded shot from the circle. And lastly, with under a minute left in the period, a great passing sequence resulted in Kyle Palmieri getting a power play goal to take a 4-2 lead.
Again with a multiple-goal lead in the third period, things got off to a very bad start. Fantilli scored his second goal of the game just one minute into the period to come within one. Despite the tough beginning, the Islanders did not lose control of the period this time around. At the 5:11 mark, Barzal one-timed his second goal of the night to restore the two-goal lead. Later in the period, Bo Horvat scored two goals 20 seconds apart to further secure the win. The Islanders would get their largest margin of victory thus far with a 7-3 final score.
Third Period Rally Leads to Overtime Win Against the Kings
The last game of the week saw the Islanders take on the visiting Los Angeles Kings. They had a tall task in front of them as the Kings were 11-0 on the road heading into this contest. For the first two and a half periods, it seemed like they were well on their way to extending their road win streak. Adrian Kempe got the Kings ahead with a well-placed power play goal in the second period. Vladislav Gavrikov then scored to double the Kings’ advantage, while the Islanders were held scoreless by Cam Talbot.
Down 2-0 almost halfway through the third period, the Islanders started to show some life. Anders Lee cleaned up a rebounded shot from Reilly to cut the Kings’ lead down to one. Lee scored again at the 15:49 mark on another rebounded shot to tie the game and send it to overtime. In overtime, it took just 13 seconds for Simon Holmstrom to chip a pass to a streaking J.G. Pageau, who beat Talbot with a backhander to win the game. With the 3-2 overtime win, the Islanders handed the Kings their first road loss this season.
3 Stars of the Week
1. Bo Horvat (2 goals vs. Blue Jackets, 4 assists)
2. Mike Reilly (First goal as an Islander, 3 assists)
3. Anders Lee (Scored both regulation goals in OTW vs. Kings)
Featured image courtesy of X/@NYIslanders
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