Snap Shots: New York Islanders @ Toronto Maple Leafs –1/7/14

Jan 7, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner (40) celebrates with center John Tavares (91) after scoring a goal in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Snap Shots, our condensed post-game recap of the New York Islanders latest NHL matchup

New York Islanders (15-22-7, 37pts) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (21-15-5, 47pts)

Air Canada Centre

7:05pm EST    

Islanders (5) – Maple Leafs (3)

SOG: 26-25 Leafs

 

Starting Lineup

 

26 Thomas Vanek – 91 John Tavares – 29 Brock Nelson
12 Josh Bailey – 51 Frans Nielsen – 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner– 18 Ryan Strome – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
36 Eric Boulton– 53 Casey Cizikas– 17 Matt Martin

44 Calvin de Haan – 3 Travis Hamonic
47 Andrew MacDonald – 37 Brian Strait
14 Thomas Hickey – 7 Matt Carkner

60 Kevin Poulin

Notable Scratches: Evgeni Nabokov (Lower-body); Matt Donovan

 

Game Summary

 

First Period: Even-keeled start to the game, with some nice backchecking from John Tavares inside the neutral zone early on. Pace favoring the Islanders through the first 4:00, but a shot from the point, with help from a screen and a Tyler Bozak tip, finds the back of Kevin Poulin‘s net. The Islanders begin to show some wear as the defensive core is having difficulties clearing pucks from their own zone, and transitioning cleanly through the NZ. Midway through the first period, Islanders chasing pucks rather than setting up plays, and Toronto guarded, with little forechecking on their part, which will eventually allow the Isles to regain a foothold in this frame. But overall, Isles seem to be waiting and as the period wanes, their skating legs are beginning to awaken.  The last few minutes of play showed a much more energized Islander forecheck, which compensated for an overall sloppy defense. With :43 left Kyle Okposo drags a shot toward Bernier and catches him off guard, all resulting from a deft NZ pickup by John Tavares. The Isles take the tie and momentum to the locker room. SOG 11-14 Leafs

Point of Interest: Isles with 6 TAKES, but losing FO battles: 12-5

 

Second Period: Isles begin the frame down a man, as de Haan is called for tripping and the 5th best PP in the NHL out to test the Islander PK.  Bernier with a complete mental meltdown as an innocuous play becomes Michael Grabner‘s 6th of the season–simply put: had Bernier played the puck, he would’ve been called for a penalty, as the puck sneaks under his stick and outside of the trapezoid. The Isles are swarming all over the Leafs and show some physicality and aggressive forechecking, with no signs of let up. Isles doing everything possible to stay out of the penalty box, and that’s allowing for their ownership of the momentum.  Travis Hamonic called for Tripping, and Mason Raymond sneaks a rebound 5-hole, resulting from a Kadri point shot, while on the PP. Still, the Islanders are the better skating team through the first 10:00 of play. But no team is truly running away with the game at the present moment. Isles kill off a Tavares Tripping call late in the frame. The Leafs begin to capitalize on poor defensive transitioning by the Islanders, and Matt Carkner called for a penalty as he’s beaten to the puck. Isles single-minded by the close of the period, as their defensive miscues are beginning to cost them. The PK unit does a solid job of killing off the final two penalties of the frame. SOG Even at 8

Point of Interest: Isles with 9 TAKES through 2 frames, still losing FO battles, though: 26-15

 

Third Period: Islanders get a PP opportunity as Lupul is called for Interference. And a 1:00 into it, Frans Nielsen scores a PPG after Kyle Okposo and Thomas Vanek enter the Leafs zone with speed; Vanek shoots into traffic and the rebound lands on the Dane’s stick and then back behind Bernier’s net.  Not too long after, Calvin de Haan lets loose a slap shot from just outside the Leaf blueline, nicks Phaneuf’s stick and beats a hapless Bernier to make it a 2-goal lead for the Isles.  Leafs showing their frustration and lack of creativity while down by 2, and the Isles maintaing a strong skating tempo. Overall, through 10:00, Isles own the match. Toronto adds a notch with 3:00 left as an aggressive flurry of forechecking, and a Kadri point shot that deflects off of Lupul makes it a 1 goal lead.  But Michael Grabner blocks a NZ pass inside the Isles zone, then feeds Cal Clutterbuck and he buries it into the empty net. SOG 6-4 Islanders

Point of Interest: Calvin de Haan scores his first career NHL goal; Tavares 3A game, tied for 2nd for points with Patrick Kane; Capuano’s 100th NHL win

 

Statistics

 

Goals

1st Period

2nd Period

3rd Period

Penalties

1st Period

  • No penalties

2nd Period

  • Calvin de Haan. Tripping. (:53)
  • Travis Hamonic. Hooking. (6:51)
  • John Tavares. Tripping. (13:22)
  • Matt Carkner. Hooking. (16:59)

3rd Period

Turning Point

  • The Calvin de Haan goal midway through the 3rd.

What’s Ahead

The Islanders head to Colorado to meet and greet Patrick Roy‘s Avalanche, then a rematch with the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

 

Topics: New York Islanders, NHL, Nhl Puck Drop

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  • Þorsteinn Halldórsson

    Nice…starting to feel the good in this team.

    • Jimmy DeMarco

      Let’s hope Garty keeps Vanek and trades for a top defenseman.

      I don’t like the idea of getting rid of Vanek at all. I think the Islanders can get him to resign in the off season.

      • Rich Diaz

        Agreed. Snow has a pretty decent track record of keeping players he wants to keep!

    • Rich Diaz

      Remember the ABCs of being an Isles fan:

      Always
      Be
      Cautious
      ;)