December 9, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Islanders centerJohn Tavares
(91) controls the puck as Anaheim Ducks goalieJonas Hiller
(1) defends the goal during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Snap Shots, our condensed post-game recap of the New York Islanders latest NHL matchup
New York Islanders (8-17-5, 21pts) @ Anaheim Ducks (20-7-5 45pts)
10:00 pm EST
Islanders (2) – Ducks (5)
26 Thomas Vanek – 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
29 Brock Nelson – 51 Frans Nielsen – 12 Josh Bailey
40 Michael Grabner — 16 Peter Regin – 15 Cal Clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas – 13 Colin McDonald
*Noticeable alterations to lineup: Pierre-Marc Bouchard is no longer a New York Islander.
- Period one: The Islanders continue the trend of starting games with strong skating and marked physicality; Matt Martin and Tim Jackman tangle, as the Islander forward takes exception to a neutral zone hit on Michael Grabner. 4-on-4 hockey bore witness to an concerted and aggressive Islander forecheck that prohibited the Ducks from establishing any consistent resistance, not to mention a counter-attack, while drawing a penalty on Anaheim midway through the period. John Tavares, with help from Thomas Vanek‘s diligent crease work, gives the Islanders their first lead of the game and a much-needed PPG–103+ minute scoring drought ends. Islanders showing a fluid style of play through the neutral zone for the first 10 to 15 minutes, while matching well in their own zone against a much stockier Ducks team. And for a change of pace, it’s the Islanders and not their opponent with both the lead and the momentum through the first 13:00 of the period. While the Ducks would succumb to a Too Many Men call, and the Isles PP unit looking much more creative and confident, Anaheim would keep New York scoreless despite the efforts on the 2nd opportunity of the evening. The Ducks, although the sloppier and lazier team throughout the first 20:00, were handed an opportunistic rebound up by Anders Nilsson that catches the Isles defense napping, and the Ducks Koivu knots it up at 1 a piece. Moreover, the Islanders defensive play began to deteriorate as the period winded down, as well as their forechecking awareness; New York loses whatever foothold garnered at the game’s onset, as Anaheim takes the tie and the momentum into the locker room, amid a late skirmish in front of the Ducks’ net by the Tavares line. One added difference for the Isles this game worth noting is the rather aggressive clip to John Tavares’s forecheck. SOG 13-7 New York. Interesting fact: Ducks 6 takeaways; Isles with 0; Ducks held without a shot for the first 10:00.
- Period two: John Tavares continues skating well, almost converting on a 2-0n-1 opportunity through the neutral zone alongside Kyle Okposo early on. Little let down to the Isles skating game at the onset of the period, and with it came the return of the aggressive forechecking, as Thomas Vanek, capitalizing on a John Tavares faceoff win, buries a bouncing puck past netminder Jonas Hiller. The Isles first line played a great outside-inside game against the Ducks’ defensive core, especially Okposo to Tavares. Nilsson looked particularly strong on his angles through the first 10:00 of the period, poised and doing the most to control his rebound and clear up his crease area. The Isles 4th line activating as strongly and as consistently as Tavares’s line. Ducks would tie it, however, this time on a pass by Daniel Winnik to Cogliano that had both eyes and feet, beating three Islanders on the play; Thomas Hickey with a poor stick check on the crafty Winnik, and a lone Cogliano behind the Isles’ defense and at Nilsson’s doorstop buries the puck. The Ducks’ tying goal came about as result of a terrible clearing attempt off a hoping puck. And with just seconds left in the period, the wheels fall off for the Islanders as short-handed 3-on-1 rush lead by the Ducks’ Daniel Winnik ricochets a shot off a well-positioned but poorly-guarded Nilsson, which lands on Cam Fowler‘s tape and inside the Isles net, giving Anaheim the lead for the first time this evening. And to make matters worse, within seconds of the lead, Corey Perry gets his 19th of the season, giving the Ducks the 2-goal advantage, all coming off a partial breakaway attempt and a delayed call against the Isles, with help from Winnik and Getzlaf. SOG even at 12. Interesting fact: The Islanders own the faceoffs this evening at 28 to the Ducks 19; Ducks with 9 gives to the Isles 1.
- Period three: Amid the 2-goal deficit, the Isles first line does all it can to activate inside the Ducks’ zone; Cizikas line is playing as strong a game as any in recent memory. The Isles would take a penalty midway through the period and Corey Perry and his squad make them pay. Nothing fancy, just some strong puck cycling with a man-advantage and a one-timer by Fowler and the inevitable rebound that followed is scooped up by Perry; the Ducks take a 3-goal lead. (Ducks 1-for-1 on the PP.) The Islanders’ 1st and 4th lines the only ones activating at all, and sole the reason this team even had a dog in the fight, to coin the phrase. Matt Carkner would be leave the game after an scuffle with Koivu and others, not before chirping at Anaheim fans on the way out. SOG 12-11 Islanders. Interesting fact: Ducks with 13 gives, Isles with 3. Isles with 35 FO wins to Ducks 27.
- John Tavares (12). PPG. (9:17). Assists: Thomas Vanek, Frans Nielsen. 1-0 Islanders
- Saku Koivu (3). (15:54). Assist: Cam Fowler. 1-1 Isles-Ducks
- Thomas Vanek (9). (4:17). Assist: John Tavares. 2-1 Islanders
- Andrew Cogliano (10). (12:41). Assists: Daniel Winnik, Bryan Allen 2-2 Islanders-Ducks
- Cam Fowler (3) SHG. (19:27). Assist: Matt Beleskey. 2-3 Ducks
- Corey Perry (19). (19:58). Assists: Daniel Winnik, Ryan Getzlaf. 2-4 Ducks
- Corey Perry (20). PPG. (7:40). Assists: Nick Bonino, Cam Fowler. 2-5 Ducks
- Period 1: Matt Martin & Tim Jackman. Fighting. (6:01); Mark Fistric. Interference. (8:57); Dustin Penner (Serving). Too Many Men on the Ice. (13:12)
- Period 2: Saku Koivu. Hooking. (15:08); Cal Clutterbuck & Dustin Penner. Roughing. (17:43); Corey Perry. Interference. (17:43)
- Period 3: Andrew MacDonald. Tripping. (16:18); Matt Carkner. Roughing and a Game Misconduct. (15:05)
- 37 to 31 Islanders
- The Andrew Cogliano’s tying goal, for the Isles couldn’t find a way to recuperate their scoring sense after that notch.
- More pain: The San Jose Sharks later tonight at the Tank. 10:30 EST start. Have your No-Doze ready.
- Point fingers at whomever you want, as long as that finger isn’t pointing at any of the six men that comprise the 1st and 4th lines–a crying shame that the efforts of these six men were squandered by the lackluster collective effort of others.
- If you think Ryan Strome is going to turn water-to-wine and losses into playoff berths, then your reasoning is as non-existent as the Isles PK.
- Problems run deeper than anything or anyone can imagine.