NYI vs. WSH - 3/16
The Islanders took a short 1 game road trip to Washington D.C. to play the Capitals in a battle for first place in the East division. New York would start off with good jump and good legs through a scoreless first period. New York outplayed Washington and we would move to second period with the score just as we started knotted at zero. Washington would open up the scoring 10:36 into the second as he tapped home a rebound into an empty net as Semyon Varlamov slid from making the original save making the game 1-0 Washington. From that point on Washington would control this game as just 5 minutes later Alex Ovechkin would drive home a one timer on the powerplay from his office to make the game 2-0 Washington. The second period would not feature any more goals but overall a disaster of a period for New York as they fall behind 2-0 and look to be fading. The second period has been a real area of concern for the Islanders and that’s something you can’t even work on in practice but they have to be better. The third period would start off with a Capitals goal just 28 seconds into the period making the game 3-0, the goal would come from Nicklas Backstrom as he continues to tear it up this year.. From that point on the Islanders would pressure and pressure hard and finally they would crack through as a wrist shot by Oliver Wahlstrom would sneak past Ilya Samsonov on the powerplay making the game 3-1. The final score would be 3-1 as New York drops a disappointing game and loses the number one spot in the East Division. Overall New York played just a terrible game and they certainly did not deserve to win and you have to give credit where credit is due, the Capitals played a great game and they got the 2 points accordingly.
NYI vs. PHI - 3/18
The New York Islanders would play with fans in the Nassau Coliseum as season ticket holders were allowed back into the Barn for the first time in over a year. The first period was seemingly even with a slight edge to Philadelphia but overall the score remained tied at zero through one period of play. Philadelphia would open the scoring just 2:26 into the second period of play as Oscar Lindblom would get a wrist shot past Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov. Just eight minutes later the Flyers would extend their lead on a goal from Claude Giroux his 7th of the year to make the game 2-0 on a real nice tip in front. This really put New York on their heels and swung all the momentum in the favor of the Philadelphia Flyers. Quickly Philadelphia would make it 3-0 on a one timer from Jakub Vorachek on a 3-1 rush, the goal would be the 5th of the year for the Czech winger. The second period would end with a 3-0 Philadelphia lead, another disastrous 2nd period would again put New York in the position of needing a roaring 3rd period comeback. 7:53 into period 3 Michael Dal-Colle would finally crack through for New York as he whipped a wrist shot past Carter Hart to make the game interesting and get the fans back into the game. 6 Minutes on the dot later Sebastian Aho would also net his first of the year to give us a 2-1 hockey game with time for New York to find the tying goal. They did just that as the rookie Oliver Wahlstrom continues to light up the league as he scored his 7th of the year from Nick Leddy and Pelech. The assist from Leddy would be his 3rd of the game and 20th of the year which put him ahead of John Carlson for assist by a defenseman in the East Division. Disaster would strike for the Islanders as Scott Mayfield would ice the puck and then blew the coverage off the ensuing draw leading to Oscar Lindblom blading a wrist shot over the shoulder of Semyon Varlamov to spoil the comeback for the Islanders and give the Flyers a much needed win. The final score would be 4-3 in a disheartening loss for New York. That’s the direct result of playing a one period hockey game for New York.
NYI vs. PHI - 3/20
The Islanders look to redeem themselves in front of their fans and snap their 2 game losing streak. New York would get started scoring early and often into this hockey game. Jean-Gabriel Pageau would open up the scoring for New York on the powerplay as the put home a rebound over sliding Carter Hart. Just two minutes later Jordan Eberle would find the puck in the middle of a scramble of Islanders and Flyers players in front and snap it into the net giving New York a commanding 2-0 lead. Then just under 2 minutes after the Eberle goal Casey Cizikas would make the game 3-0 New York as he would steal the puck from the Flyers defenseman and rip one under the glove and in off a short breakaway making the game 3-0 New York and giving them their 3 goals in the last 3:59 of the game. Later on in the period Casey Cizikas would score his second period to give New York a 4-0 lead. A goal by Joel Farabee would be the only blemish on an otherwise perfect night for Ilya Sorokin. The first period would end with a final score of 4-1 New York as the Islanders were firmly in control of this game. Both sides played a scoreless second period and we would head to the 3rd period with New York up by 3. Just under 10 minutes into period 3 Anthony Beauvillier would break out of his slump as he found another goal off a turnover, the goal would be the 3rd of the year for Tito who took a lot of shifts alongside Pageau and Wahlstrom but he was in the ice with Brock Nelson as New York extended their lead to 5-1. Around 6 minutes later Josh Bailey would score and finally show signals that he is breaking out of his scoring slump and make it a 6-1 lead for New York. Ilya Sorokin would lock it down from there extending his rookie goaltender franchise record 7 game win streak!
THE WEEK RECAPPED:
New York had a disastrous beginning to their week as they dropped games to Washington and Philly by scores of 3-1 and 4-3 respectively both in different types of gut wrenching losses. New York picked up 2 of the possible 6 points they could get this week with their only win being a 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in dominating fashion. They briefly lost the top spot in the East put played themselves into a tie for first with the Islanders win and Capitals loss setting us up for an exciting stretch run.
THE WEEK AHEAD:
The week ahead features a Monday night matchup in Philly to cap off a 3 game set with the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday’s game in Boston has been postponed and Thursday’s game against Boston is seemingly on but that is subject to change based on the COVID-19 situation of Boston Bruins. Then the Islanders will head to Pittsburgh, an arena which they have not faired well in for a 7:00 pm matchup against the Penguins. New York has to pick up at least four points this week as their wild season rolls on.