The New York Islanders defeated the Las Vegas Golden Knights 6-3 in the first meeting between the two teams. The Isles snapped what would have been the longest winning streak of all time for a team in its first season.
Bad special teams was the headline of the first period for the New York Islanders, again. No, I’m not kidding.
The Islanders gave up another shorthanded goal in the first. This is beyond ridiculous. Hey, it was the first shorthanded goal in Golden Knights history! It was the sixth shorthanded goal the Isles have allowed in the month of October.
They only gave up seven all last season. Pitiful. After a game against Nashville that looked like maybe the power play was back on the track, tonight was a bad step back. Nick Leddy and the rest of the unit lacked communication. Leddy made a lazy play in the corner and found himself all alone and the Knight led by a goal.
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The Islanders could get one back when Andrew Ladd put one in off the rush. Ladd has quietly produced so far, this season. Especially with the addition of Jordan Eberle I’ve felt Ladd has been a little lost beyond the play of the new guys but you must be happy with the way he’s started this season.
The Islanders though would still find themselves down a goal after the first, thanks to you guessed it…special teams. Halak did his part but Cal Clutterbuck failed to clear the puck and the Knights scored off a screen. There’s only so much these Islander goaltenders can continue to do with what they must work with.
The Knights dominated the last three minutes of the first but Halak kept the Islanders only down by a goal. He’s statistically been the better goalie this season and I agreed with Weight giving him back to back games after his performance against the Predators.
The second was much better than the first thanks to some luck and a couple of power-play goals.
The power play was already 0 for 4 when John Tavares got to work. The captain knotted his 10th of the season as his continues to be scorching hot. About 30 seconds before the goal, Knights goalie Oscar Dansk appeared to get hurt but stayed in the game. After the Tavares goalie Dansk left the ice with the Vegas trainer.
Remember, Dansk is already the Knights third goalie of the year with both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban on injured reserve. How this team is 8-1 going into tonight is beyond me.
On came Max Legace making his NHL debut. Last week this kid was a backup in the AHL and now he was facing shots from Tavares. Barzal scored on the rookie to give the Isles their first lead of the night. It was a lucky play when an Anders Lee shot bounced off Legace and left Barzal with an empty net.
That was now two Islanders power play goals and only one Vegas goal on an Islanders power play. Is that good?
Nonetheless, the Isles led 3-2 at the second break.
The Isles scared me a little bit out of the gate in the 3rd but Clutterbuck shut that does real quick. Even though Legace is a rookie, I don’t know too many goalies who could have saved the shot Clutterbuck took to extend the lead to 4-2. It feels like it’s been a while seen we’ve see that wicked shot of his.
Kulemin got his second point of the year of the goal and he would add a goal for himself later in the game. Legace looked like a deer in the headlights when Kulemin sprung a breakaway and beat the rookie netminder with ease. It was now 5-2 and the Isles on the cusp of handing the Knights their 2nd lose ever.
I was starting to feel bad for Legace when Tavares got his second of the night. It was just too easy. The captain now has five goals in his last two games and 11 goals on the season. For a guy who has been absent for a handful of game this year, it’s not too shabby of a start. I guess players always do play well in that contract year.
The Isles cruised the rest of the way and defeated the Knights 6-3.
The Islanders must stay on their game when they play a struggling but still very good Capitals team on Thursday. I would expect to see Thomas Greiss back in goal for that one.