The New York Islanders wrapped up the preseason with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. Now, we wait for the regular season to get rolling.
If you thought preseason football was bad, preseason hockey certainly gives preseason football a run for its money. This game started out pretty sloppy for both the Rangers and the New York Islanders.
No goals were scored for either side in the first period, but the play definitely leaned towards the Rangers end of things. The Isles took a roughing penalty and then seconds after being rewarded with a power play later in the period, Anders Lee took a tripping penalty.
The Isles somehow finished the period with eight shots despite not recording a single shot for nearly half of the period.
If one word could describe period number two it would be “penalties”. There were nine penalties called in the period alone. Nine. Finally, in this period we saw some scoring.
Vladislav Namestnikov was able to beat Thomas Greiss, who subbed in for Semyon Varlamov. Namestnikov was able to waltz in rather unbothered and slid one past the Isles netminder.
As time was winding down in the second the Isles were on a power play. Nick Leddy took the puck up through the neutral zone and suddenly I thought I was thrust into a time machine and sent back to 2015.
Leddy was able to get it in the zone and Michael Dal Colle banged home the rebound.
This was a big goal for MDC, he’s fighting for the third line winger role and it’s pretty much between him and Josh Ho-Sang. Based on everything we’ve seen it looks like the Isles are favoring Dal Colle for the job.
After two, the Isles and Rangers were tied at two goals apiece.
In the third, another power play was awarded to the Islanders rather early in the frame. Josh Bailey put one top shelf and the Isles had their second power play goal of the night.
Last year, the Islanders power play was atrocious, they were a bottom feeder in the league. If they could just be league average this year the Isles shouldn’t see much of a regression at all in the standings.
Not even a minute later, Tony DeAngelo scored to tie up this game at two goals apiece. It looked like this game was destined for overtime but with just 2:20 remaining Mathew Barzal scored a goal that left me audibly gasping.
The knock on Barzal is that he doesn’t shoot enough or that he doesn’t have much of a shot. My goodness could that be any further from the truth. Barzal has played like a superhero in the preseason and if it carries over to the regular season this team is in great shape.
Adam Pelech added an empty netter for good measure and the Isles would go on to win 4-2 closing out the preseason schedule.
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One more thing of note, Casey Cizikas headed off the ice gingerly at the very end of the game. Keep a close eye on that as the Isles open the season up on Friday.