How sweep it is! The New York Islanders needed overtime and a shootout but were able to defeat the Ottawa Senators, completing the two-game sweep at Mile One Arena in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Cal Clutterbuck scored the winner in the 5th round of the shootout and Kevin Poulin only allowed 1 goal to seal the win in the nightcap. The Islanders also won 3-2 in the first game of the split squad doubleheader.
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The game did not start the way most Islanders fans would’ve liked. Clark MacArthur opened the scoring with a top-shelf snipe on Jaroslav Halak at 5:12 of the first, then Curtis Lazar scored at 12:54 on what sounded like a failed attempt by Halak to play the puck behind his net. Both goals came on the Senators’ power play, and immediately Islanders fans began to think of how inept the Isles penalty kill was last year. A much better second period led to Mikhail Grabovski‘s first goal as an Islander off a feed from former Senator Cory Conacher. Nikolai Kulemin recorded the second assist on Grabo’s goal, hopefully providing us a glimpse into their next four years in orange and blue.
Poulin stoned MacArthur’s short handed attempt early in the third period to keep the game tied, and the Islanders defense was able to fend off the Senators down the stretch. Perhaps the biggest moment of this game was Josh Bailey tying the game at 2 just past the midway point of the 2nd period. Islanders fans have talked all off-season about the need for Bailey to have a big year (you can argue that there is no one on the roster who needs to have a great training camp than Josh) and hopefully this game can jump start that for him.
As Jack Capuano said prior to the team heading north, we shouldn’t make a big deal about the lines or defensive pairings. We can, however, be happy with the fact that the Islanders were able to get a lead and hold it in game one, and bounce back from being down 2-0 early in game two.
The Islanders will return home confident, healthy, and ready to take on Carolina on Wednesday at the Nassau Coliseum. Stay with us for everything Islanders all season long.