Even five goals couldn’t save the New York Islanders as they fall 6-5 to the struggling Anaheim Ducks for their third regulation loss at home of the season.
The New York Islanders have now allowed 13 goals against in two games at home. For a team known for being one of the best defensive units in the league, they sure haven’t looked like it recently.
The Nashville Predators put eight goals past the Islanders and a few short days later the Anaheim Ducks would put five past the Islanders. Somehow between those two games, the Isles were able to play some of their best defensive hockey against the Boston Bruins.
Thankfully, the Islanders were able to take a point out of this game.
Poor Defensive Effort
Barry Trotz won’t be happy after today’s effort. The Islanders defense looked like they had no idea where they needed to be today. On two occasions Nick Leddy was ghosted by Ducks’ forwards leading directly to goals against.
The Ducks were able to answer sometime later on the power play. Which has been something of a theme of late. Over their last three games, the Islanders have been short-handed 14 times giving up four goals in the process; a 71 percent efficiency on the PK.
From there it was a back and forth with both teams putting up goals.
For most of the game, the Islanders were the better team, but when they gave up an opportunity, the Ducks scored. Barry Trotz decided to break his goalie rotation by starting Semyon Varlamov in back-to-back games, and Varly did not reward him for the decision.
Varly ended the game with five goals against on 28 shots for a 0.821SV%. His lowest save percentage in a game where he starts this season.
Thankfully, the Islanders offense was able to put in the goals. Five different Islanders skaters had a goal and seven players had themselves multi-point nights. Including Nick Leddy who had three points.
Goal of the Game
It was wonderful stuff from the Islanders top line to nab this one. It should have set the tone early and brought out the best from the Isles. Unfortunately, it didn’t. If anything its nice to see the two Gary’s in Eberle and Barzal getting back in sync.
Anders Lee now has ten goals on the season and three in his last six games.
Isles Top 3 Players
1. Mathew Barzal: 1G, 1A
Barzal was the best player for both teams out there. He was creating and generally being a thorn int he side of Anaheim’s defenders. With two points, Barzal now has 30 points in 34 games, putting him on pace for 72 points at the end of the season.
2. Brock Nelson: 1G, 1A
Nelson continues to put up points in the month of December. He now has eight in ten games, making this December his most productive yet. And there are still four games to go.
3. Anthony Beauvillier: 2S, 3TKA
I know Pulock had two points and the game-tieing goal on the power play. But Beauvillier, even without a point, had a wonderful game. His ability to create something out of nothing is incredible.