NYI @ BOS - 4/15/21
The Islanders are coming off a 3 day break in which they got their first practice time with their 3 new acquisitions (Palmieri, Zajac, and Coburn). The Islanders certainly had all of the advantages coming into this game not only because of the break but also because New York was coming into tonight's matchup 5-0 against the Bruins. All in it seemed like a good spot for the Islanders to be in even with Boston’s 3 deadline acquisitions of their own. The Islanders did not get off to a good start in this game and it showed. Just 1:49 into the first period of play Brad Marchand would score an awkward goal off of his back. It was originally called no goal on the crossbar but after a cover by Tuukka Rask the officials would review the call and deem the puck went off the back bar giving the Bruins an early 1-0 lead. It did not get much better from there as with just 2:05 to play in period 1, Craig Smith would add another one on the powerplay in what was an absolute disaster of a period for New York. All in told after 1 the Islanders trailed 2-0 after one and were being out shot 23-7 which is the most shots they have allowed in a single period all season long. Usually there is a positive to take out of any period but I could not find one single positive that was not named Semyon Varlamov who without him the Islanders would not even be in the game after the first stopped all but 2 of the 23 shots against him in period one with the first goal being an absolute fluke. The Islanders seemed to have found New life in the second and they found a goal by Travis Zajac off a gorgeous feed by Mathew Barzal. The Islanders seemed to have the momentum starting to swing in their favor but another key penalty proved costly, while this one did not cost them on the scoreboard it did take what little momentum the Islanders had and handed it right back to Boston. Multiple times in tonight's game the Islanders took penalties that stung them. In any case we had ourselves a close game score wise but not play wise at 2-1 after 2 periods to play. Just under 2 minutes into period 3 Mathew Barzal came within inches of tying the game on a 2-1 off a gorgeous feed by Jordan Eberle, the puck came back to the point and a sloppy play by Ryan Pulock led to a giveaway and a breakaway for Taylor Hall who slid it five hole on Semyon Varlamov his only real mistake on the night as he went for the poke check but it did not work out. With the score now 3-1 the Bruins gave the Islanders a taste of their own medicine as they played the dump and chase game and just truly took the air out of the game by outworking the New York Islanders. Brad Marchand would net his second of the game and 21st of the year on an empty cage after again outworking the Islanders. The Islanders simply could not match the Bruins tonight on any level and the final stats showed. It was a 4-1 loss for New York as they were out shot 45-23. The only bright spot tonight was Semyon Varlamov who allowed technically 4 goals on 45 shots but one was an empty netter. Overall a poor effort for the Islanders as they drop the one 4-1 and move to (27-12-4) on the year and look forward to revenge in game 2 of the back to back. The silver lining to this game was the Caps fell 5-2 to Buffalo and the Penguins lost 2-1 in the shootout to the Flyers meaning the Islanders will remain 2 points back on the Capitals with 1 game at hand and 1 point ahead of the Penguins. Game 2 of the back to back looks even more crucial now that they have dropped game 1.
NYI @ BOS - 4/16/21
After an extremely disappointing game 1 of a back to back with the Bruins the Islanders came out and played a strong first period, they were on the puck and generating chances but they could not find the finish to take the lead. The game very well could have been 3-0 Islanders just minutes into the game. The Islanders after having such a good start to the game allowed a tough goal by David Pastrnak with just 2.4 seconds left in the first period to kill every speck of momentum the Islanders had. After such a strong period the Islanders found themselves trailing in the game. The Islanders simply did not recover from the Pastrnak goal as the Bruins would get one just 47 seconds into the second meaning 2 goals in under a minute of game time with the intermission in between. The Islanders could not keep up with the Bruins and the score would continue to show it, they were much better than last night but still just an absolutely unacceptable effort. The Islanders trailed by 2 after 2 periods and they could not generate enough in period 3. The Bruins again out worked the Islanders even with the Islanders a 6-5 advantage with their net empty. Curtis Lazar buried the empty netter to ice it for Boston and lead them to back to back victories in a back to back set over the New York Islanders. Overall the Bruins were held in the game early by Jeremy Swayman and then once they captured the momentum they did not lock back on their way to victory. Swayman recorded his first career shutout and the Islanders now have one more game this week to salvage a couple of points. Overall the Islanders put out a poor effort and they are really deep in a slump and in danger of falling out of reach of the top spot in the East.
NYI @ PHI - 4/18/21
The Islanders travel to Philadelphia after two disappointing games in Boston. Recently acquired defenseman Braydon Coburn made his Islanders debut in place of Noah Dobson. Throughout the first two periods the Islanders offense just wasn't there, they were playing a slow game and were not finishing on any opportunities. Ilya Sorokin was absolutely insane for the Isles and was by far the best player of the game. He recorded his 3rd shutout of the season and the 3rd of his young NHL career. The game remained scoreless after 60 minutes and required extra minutes. Nick Leddy put an end to the scoreless streak in this game, ending it 1-0 in overtime. It was an own goal if you look at the replay, but it counts! The Isles absolutely stole two points from Philadelphia but it was an important two points. This win pushed the Islanders back to 2nd place in the MassMutual East Division, pulling ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders will take on their New York rivals, the New York Rangers on Tuesday!