After an ugly win against the Carolina Hurricanes on the road the New York Islanders were hoping for a better showing in their home opener against the Nashville Predators.
A wins a win for the New York Islanders. All a team truly cares about are the two points they get at the end of night. But winning while being out shot 46-20 isn’t going to be sustainable in an 82 game season.
Going up against the 2017-18 President Trophy winning Nashville Predators wasn’t going to make things easier for the Islanders on their home debut.
Barry Trotz’s former club is stacked in every position. From a defenseive core of Roman Josi, P.K. Subban and Ryan Ellis. To a forward group of Ryan Johanssen, Fillip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson. Being more competitive against this group was going to be tough.
It didn’t start well. Early in the first period Viktor Arvidsson showed us all his sublime skill. He goes between the legs to get around Ryan Pulock before he slides its between Thomas Greiss’ pads.
Mathew Barzal would answer some minutes later thanks to some nice off the puck work by Josh Bailey. But that would be negated a few minutes later as Mattias Ekholm gets one to deflect off an Islanders defender and in.
For most of the second frame the New York Islanders were on top of the Predators. They’d out shoot the Predators 15-6 in the second frame.
Valtteri Filppula scored his second goal of the season to tie it up for the Isles, rewarding them for some early period dominance. The momentum and run of play stayed with the Islanders for most of the second, until the Preds scored two unanswered goals.
In just under three minutes and 15 seconds the Predators scored two unanswered goals. Events that would have completely deflated the Islanders last season. But thanks to a late power-play goal by Islanders captain Anders Lee they were only a goal down with twenty to go.
That’s as good as it would get for the Islanders. The third period saw the Islanders and Predators trade opportunities as the Isles kept up with the Predators. But the quick two goals in the second against the run of play proved to be too much.
While the Islanders lost the contest, there are a number of positives to take from the loss. Mainly, the Isles stayed competitive with the best team in the league from last season. Secondly they actually out shot the Predators by a margin of 29-23.
Star of the Game: Josh Bailey
Bailey picked up two primary assists on the night. Taking his points total to three over the first two games.
Its early still but the thought of Josh Bailey being a byproduct of John Tavares isn’t holding up.
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The Islanders are now 1-1-0 on the season. It was the first loss of the season, but there are still positives that the Isles can rally around as they welcome the San Jose Sharks and Erik Karlsson to the Barclays center on Monday.