NYI vs. NYR - 4/20
After a rough week the Islanders needed a strong game against their cross town rival New York Rangers. This was a physical game from the start, after he took a hit from Jacob Trouba Matt Martin seemed angry for revenge and he got it on Trouba himself. Martin crushed Trouba with a big,clean,and hard hit. Trouba stumbled to his feet and left the game and left his team without their defensive leader. Josh Bailey would open up the scoring for the Islanders late in period 1. The Isles would take that 1-0 lead to the intermission after what was a strong period for the Islanders. The Islanders would pick up where they left off in the 1st as Brock Nelson would score to extend the lead for the Islanders just 1:38 into the period. Anthony Beauvillier would waste no time extending the lead again this time to 3. Just around the halfway point of period 2, Kevin Rooney would get the Rangers on the board with his 7th of the year, Smith and Kravtsov had the assists. The score was 3-1 after 2 which set us up for what should have been a hard fought 3rd period. Jean-Gabriel Pageau would open up the scoring in the third period with his 13th of the season at the 7:44 mark of the 3rd period. Quickly Josh Bailey would net his 2nd of the night to extend the Islanders’ lead to 5-1. Even quicker than that Jordan Eberle would bury his 15th of the year as the Islanders piled it on, getting 6 past Igor Shesterkin. Overall this was the game the Islanders needed as they buried the New York Rangers and Igor Shesterkin in a 6-1 rout. The Islanders controlled every single aspect of this game and they dominated the play. Hopefully this is the win the Islanders need to break out of their scoring slump.
NYI vs. WSH - 4/22
The Capitals would come to Nassau Coliseum in hopes of starting a 3 game set off right with a win over the Islanders. The Islanders came out gunning in the first period and they completely outplayed the Capitals but the ISlanders could not put one on the board leaving us knotted at 0 after 1. Overall New York had a good first season with good pace, they outshot the Capitals 15-4 in the aforementioned period. The 1st intermission seemed to switch all the momentum in the favor of the Washington Capitals, Washington was all over the ISlanders and the Islanders generated just about nothing, this has been a constant theme for New York as the second period has become somewhat of an Achilles heel for them. Through 2 the score was knotted still at 0 a side. Each team has taken their turn dominating the period setting us up for a win a period win a game situation between the 2 top teams in the East division. After what was an even third period for both sides both goaltenders remained perfect and we would head to overtime to try and decide this hard fought game. The Islanders won the opening faceoff of overtime and possessed the puck for almost all of overtime and failed to create any opportunities and the Islanders and Capitals would require a shootout. Beauvillier would sneak one past Samsonov but eventually the Capitals would get goals from Backstrom and Kuznetzov to win the game. Overall the Islanders did fall behind in the race to first place but this was a playoff type game so they have to be proud of the effort they put out.
NYI vs. WSH - 4/24
The Capitals came into game 2 of this 3 game set riding high from their shootout win a couple of nights before but they came into this game without their star goal scorer Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin was injured in the final minutes of the last game between the 2. Garnett Hathaway opened up the scoring just 2:33 into the game. Quickly the Capitals would make their lead 2 as T.J. Oshie got another one past Sorokin. The Islanders just did not look like themselves in this first period but they would get one back before the period expired from Anthony Beauvillier on the powerplay. The score would remain the same leaving Washington with the 2-1 lead after one period of play. The Islanders would head to the penalty box against a lethal Capitals power play but, Adam Pelech went coast to coast and rifled home a short handed goal on a bomb of a slap shot. For Pelech it is his third of the year and first one shortened. The Capitals would waste no time retaking the lead as just under 5 minutes later Nic Dowd would score making the game 3-2 Washington. Just 2 minutes later Daniel Sprong would extend that lead right back to 2. Jean-Gabriel Pageau would bring the Islanders back within one with another power play goal. The Islanders special teams were simply spectacular but other than that the Islanders were not themselves in any fashion. Evgeny Kuznetzov would re-extend the Capital lead to 2 as he took basically all the air out of the game. Daniel Sprong would go on to score his second of the game giving the Capitals a 6-3 lead which would become our final score. Tonight just was not Ilya Sorokin’s night but as a whole the team in front of him did not play well as well. The Islanders now fall deep in the third place hole and you can only hope they find new life late in this season.
NYI @ WSH - 4/27
The Isles travel to Washington for the final game of this 3-game series. Before this game, the Islanders had only gotten 1 out of a possible 4 points in the series. Before the game it was announced that Oliver Wahlstrom would return to the line-up after being a healthy scratch for the previous three. Braydon Coburn also made a return to the line-up, in for Noah Dobson. Semyon Varlamov was expected to start but Ilya Sorokin started, with Cory Schneider backing him up. Sorokin has struggled against the Capitals so far this season and in the 2nd game of this NYI-WSH series. The game started off with a Capitals goal from Daniel Sprong just 1:29 into the opening period to give Washington an early 1-0 lead. The Islanders were not able to make anything happen over the rest of the 1st and go into the 2nd already down by 1. The 2nd period remained scoreless with the Islanders looking very weak offensively. The 3rd period had the Isles looking a little better but still could not get anything going. Even a minute of 5-on-3 resulted in nothing for the Islanders. For the 5-on-3 we saw Bailey out playing wing, with Barzal and Beauvillier on the bench. Very odd decision from Trotz. The Isles emptied their net and still had no luck and got shutout, again. The Islanders have been shut out 3 times in their last 6 and it is clear that they have a scoring problem.
The week recapped:
The Islanders had one of the more frustrating weeks we have seen in a bit, they picked up 3/6 possible points but they had 2 losses to their division rival Capitals. Tuesday’s 6-1 rout of the Rangers was surely the highlight of the night but even the one point they got over Washington could serve as important. Overall while it was undoubtedly a tough week the Islanders are again finding their way on the powerplay and you can only hope they start fresh for their next game in Washington next Tuesday.
The week ahead:
The Islanders will start their week on a trip to Washington to close out the season series with the Washington Capitals who just took both games at the Nassau Coliseum from New York. They head across the East River to New York City to face off in their final game at the Garden this year. Before heading back home to again play the Rangers to close out the season series. This is a huge week for the Islanders and they have to bring their best after a disappointing end to last week. Overall this could define the spot the Islanders end up with in the East Division. If they pull out 4-5 points it would be a successful week as they are playing tough teams in each game.