A single mistake is what cost the New York Islanders in game one of their second-round matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes. With a 1-0 loss, the Isles have lost for the first time in the postseason.
Game one of the second round was underway. The New York Islanders were taking on the Carolina Hurricanes for the first time in the playoffs, ever. While the Islanders had plenty of time to prepare for the Hurricanes, the same can’t be said for the Hurricanes…and NBC.
For some reason in the pre-game, NBC loaded a Tampa Bay Lightning logo behind Robin Lehner. I assume they got their pre-loaded graphics mixed up. But not a great look. And then the camera feed came on the TV.
For some reason, the NBC feed seemed like it was being shot from the rafters. Either NBC couldn’t get their regular cameras set up, or they were getting experimental on us all. Either way, absolutely no one liked it.
Within the first few minutes, the talk during the game had nothing to do with the actual game.
The Hurricanes would have wanted to bury this game early before they started to feel the effects of their double-overtime game seven win over the Washington Capitals.
The Islanders did a good job of dictating the play in period one. They didn’t sit back and let the Hurricanes run the show. Instead, they were right in the Hurricanes face, picking up exactly where they left off against the Penguins.
With eleven shots to the Hurricanes nine, the Isles were the better team in the period. Outside of a tripping call on Justin Williams, there wasn’t much going on in the first. And that’s well enough. Both teams were still trying to understand what the other was up to.
The Islanders kept up the pressure in the second period. Eventually, it ended up with what looked like a sure goal from Mathew Barzal. But the goal was immediately waved off. To add insult to injury, Anders Lee was given a goaltender interference penalty on the play.
See the play for yourself here.
It’s clear that there’s interference on the play but that’s only because Lee was direct into the path of Petr Mrazek. Calling the goal off is one thing, but to then get a penalty out of it? What could Anders Lee had done? (PS: They shouldn’t have called it off.)
The Isles were in charge for most of the period, but in the latter half of the frame the Hurricanes turned it on to level the shots in the period to 12.
Fifty-second into the third period Cal Clutterbuck was given a double minor for a high-stick on Trevor van Riemsdyk. The only issue is the call came well after the infraction happened. No call was made on the play, the refs were able to confer on what transpired, Carolina pleaded their case and then the refs decided to give the four-minute double minor. Wild, right?
According to Elliotte Friedman, linesman can get in a refs ear about a call if it’s a double-minor. Rule 32.4 (xii) indicates that a linesman can talk to a ref when an injury happens as a result of a high-stick.
We were all caught off-guard by the call, but it seems like the refs (and linesmen) made the right call.
Without a goal by either team, this game needed overtime to settle the 0-0 tie.
It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to score.
The Islanders were running the puck back up into the Carolina end for more offensive zone pressure. Leddy pushes the puck to Cal Clutterbuck on the open right wing. Rather than move the puck in deep Cal see Beau coming in and tries to set up Beauvillier who wasn’t going where Cal’s pass was heading.
The Canes were able to take it up the other way, set themselves up and within a few second a missed shot found Jordan Staal all alone on Lehner’s far side. Wide open, Staal was able to get the shot on net before Lehner could get a leg on it.
A single mistake is what sunk the New York Islanders in game one. They’ve now lost their first playoff game so far. How they bounce back on Sunday will be interesting.