With a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Islanders six game winning streak comes to a disappointing end.
The New York Islanders have had the Carolina Hurricanes number this season. In three games already in 2018-19, the Islanders hold a 3-0-0 record with a 8-3 favorable goal differential.
Thomas Greiss has won all three outings for the Isles. Over the three contests he’s faced 112 and stopped 109 of them for an average 0.973SV%. Naturally, Barry Trotz went with Greiss again.
With a win, the Islanders could match a seven game winning streak that last done by the Islanders in 1989-90. Twenty-nine years ago.
Brock Nelson get his 14th goal on the season after capitalizing on a poor clearance from Justin Faulk. Coming off the bench, Brock Nelson seizes the puck and snaps it past Curtis McElhinney.
And then two fluke bounces off of Islanders players end up in the back of their net. First it was a Saku Maenalanen shot that bounced off Nick Leddy. Then it was a Greg McKegg attempt that went in off of Adam Pelech.
That second goal came six second before the end of the period. The Canes would leave the period with all of the momentum.
The Islanders thought they had battled back to tie thanks to some nifty passing in the zone. Eventually the puck was worked to Anders Lee behind the net who feeds it to Jordan Eberle up front who buries it. We thought.
It was revealed that Valtteri Filppula had entered the zone in an offsides position. Goal waved off.
The Isles would then waste two power play opportunities in the second to leave them with a one goal deficit with 20 minutes to go. We’ve seen them come back from worse.
Devon Toews came to the New York Islanders rescue with an off-balance shot from the blue line that also took a fortunate deflection and made its way past McElhinney.
That was Toews’ third point in seven games since being called up. That combined with his overall play there is absolutely no way he’s going back down to the AHL.
After a golden opportunity to take the lead on the power play the Islanders get caught on a bad change and the Hurricanes make it 3-2 thanks to Justin Williams.
Jacob Slavin makes it 4-2 minutes later on the power play after a poor decision from Leo Komarov who cross-checks Brock McGinn into the boards.
Everyone thought the game was over. Slavin’s goal came at the 18:53 mark and fans started heading for the door.
Until Brock Nelson decided it wasn’t over yet by making it 4-3 with a nice wrist shot through McElhinney’s five hole. It was Brock’s second goal and third point on the night and 15th of the season.
The Canes would hold on to break the New York Islanders unbeaten run at six games.
The Isles played well, but that power play was terrible once again. On at least two of the Isles three power play opportunities the Hurricanes were the better offensive team.
One bad line change and a bad penalty is what sank the Islanders tonight.
Fan of the Night
We ask fans every game night who they think will score the Isles first goal. I picked Jordan Eberle. But Brock Nelson was the first to score. Two had their clairvoyant hats on.
1. Brock Nelson: 2 goals, 1 assist
He was clearly the New York Islanders best player on the ice with three points. But he was creating opportunities all over the ice for the Islanders. When was the last time Brock Nelson was “heating up in January? Never.
2. Devon Toews: 1 goal
He’s now got three points in seven games since being called up. He isn’t perfect. He got lost on that Justin Williams goal. But he clearly belongs in the NHL.
3. Thomas Greiss: 20 saves, 0.833SV%
How does Thomas Greiss get a star with a 0.833SV%? Because he actually only let in two goals. The first two that the Canes scored came off of Islanders defenders. He played well and that 0.833SV% isn’t reflective of his effort in nets.