If there was ever a night the Islanders needed a tremendous bounce back effort it was tonight. The problem was they ran into the hot Senators.
Who is this guy? Once again, Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond has completely shocked another NHL team, this time being the second place New York Islanders.
At Nassau Colisuem tonight the Isles failed to regain first place in the Metropolitan division and still trail the New York Rangers by a single point.
3 Stars of the Game:
- Andrew Hammond (OTT) – 34 Saves
- Curtis Lazar (OTT) – 1 Shot on Goal
- Tyler Kennedy (NYI) – 1 Goal
As it’s been recently New York (aside from Ranger games), the game started at a sluggish pace. They couldn’t generate much energy and that vicious forecheck we’ve been so accustomed to on the season wasn’t at full force.
After a scoreless first period it was the streaking Senators who decided to get on the board first.
Matt Puempel put home only his second of the season on a slap shot. A little over 12-minutes later, Kyle Turris tipped one in (17) past Jaroslav Halak on a play started by the ultra talented Erik Karlsson.
The Turris goal was a killer because it came with only 1:07 left in the period.
To start the third period we saw more of the same. The Senators were playing smart defensive hockey and New York just seemed to be in cruise control – no fight or slight sign of positive momentum.
It wasn’t until one of the newest Islanders got something going, Tyler Kennedy, could they start to make that final push. Kennedy deflected a Lubomir Visnovsky shot past Hammond to finally give the building life and something to cheer about.
The final 10 minutes of the game saw New York in their most familiar situation of fight back while down in the third period. Watching it you couldn’t help but think John Tavares and company would yet again score a late goal and steal another point.
Mar 13, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond (30) has his mask checked after being hit by a puck during the second period against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Sadly though it just didn’t happen.
The youngster who’s been taking the league by storm, Andrew Hammond, stopped 34 goals on the night and continues to keep his team alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race (five points behind the Boston Bruins).
For New York, they still trail the Rangers by a point in the Metropolitan Division, but have played an incredible four more games than those dreaded Blueshirts.
While this is the NHL and the only goal is to get in the playoffs, the last thing in the world this team needs is a Marsh swoon heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They’ll get back on the mat Saturday night as they’ll host the Montreal Canadiens.
- Andrew Hammond has earned a point in his first 10 career games (9-0-1)
- Frans Nielsen sat this one out due to injury
- The Isles have now lost three straight road games
- Isles out-shot the Sens 35-28