New York Islanders Highlights: Wild West Win in Ho-Sang’s Debut
By Jacob Seus
After a four day break the New York Islanders earned a hard-fought win in Josh Ho-Sang’s debut.
After a crazy couple of days for the Islanders, it was finally time to get back to hockey and the long awaited debuted of Josh Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang was the Islanders 28th pick in the 2014 NHL draft.
Doug Weight started the Ho-Sang line to open up the game. He was playing alongside Brock Nelson and Andrew Ladd. This was a good opportunity for Nelson to get going as well. He has been on quite the scoring drought of late.
The line generated some early offensive opportunities, and Nelson, who played aggressive early, was stopped by Anti Niemi on a partial breakaway. Thomas Greiss was back in net for the Isles on Thursday and faced his first test ten minutes in making a nice save on Tyler Seguin to keep the game scoreless.
On the other end a Stars turnover in the neutral zone would send Ryan Strome on a breakaway. Strome after a few dekes beat Niemi and gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead. It was the 12th of the season for Strome.
The Islanders would get a few more good scoring chances in the period but couldn’t add on to the lead. It was a deflating end to a good period that Islanders controlled. Calvin De Haan took a penalty with two minutes left, and the Isles would allow another late goal.
Jamie Benn snapped one passed Greiss with seven seconds left to tie the game at one. That would be the score at the end of the first period. Ho-Sang was buzzing to start the second and drew a Dallas penalty four minutes in.
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A decent power play for the Islanders, included a goal review, but no luck and the team were still tied at one just five minutes into the middle frame.
Later, Radek Faska would avoid a hit check from Scott Mayfield and the Isles defense would leave him wide open. Faksa took a pass and beat Greiss to put Dallas up 2-1 at the 7:33 mark of the second.
Looking for an answer, John Tavares would rip one off the cross bar just 20 seconds later. The Isles sloppy play continued from there and Mayfield’s poor play would continue.
Greiss and Mayfield got mixed up on a dump in and the defense left Jason Spezza all alone for an easy tip in to put the Stars up 3-1. There was still plenty of time left but the Islanders would need to pick it up in a hurry.
Looking for a spark Weight would pair Ho-Sang with Tavares and Jason Chimera. It wasn’t that line, but the newly formed line of Ladd, Strome and Josh Bailey who would contribute when Strome missed on a golden chance but Ladd batted the puck in to get the Islanders within one.
That goal would wake the Isles up and they would have a couple chances to tie the game before the end of the period but Niemi stood tall. The Stars took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
New York Islanders
The Islanders got a lucky bounce to tie the game just thirty seconds into the third period. Nick Leddy fired a shot passed the net that bounced off the boards and Niemi and just like that the game was tied at three.
The goal may have been a lucky one, but the Islanders poured it on from there in a must win game. At the 7:46 mark of the period Dennis Seidenberg slapped one past Niemi to give the Isles a 4-3 lead.
At that point the Islanders were up 9-0 in third period shots. Two minutes later Leddy found Nikolai Kulemin on a rush and in the blink of an eye the Islanders were now up 5-3 and cruising.
It was a stress free period until the Stars took a penalty with two minutes left, yes the Stars took the penalty.
Jamie Benn would beat Greiss shorthanded on a wicked back hand shot. The only thing the Islanders could not do on their power play was give up a goal and all of a sudden the lead was cut to one.
The Stars had a lot of offensive zone-time with Niemi pulled but the defensive was able to get the job done. The Islanders pulled out a 5-4 win in Dallas in Ho-Sang’s first NHL game. The rookie was certainly able to hold his own and show he can play with these guys.
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The Isles will be right back at it on Friday when they take on the red-hot Blackhawks in Chicago.