After their Holiday break, the New York Islanders came out flat and lost a clunker 5-2 to Robin Lehner and the Chicago Blackhawks.
For the third game in a row, the Islanders have an “L” next to their name. It was another rough performance, as they allowed five goals or more for the third time in their last five games, which is rare for this team.
Things started well for the Islanders, as it was Ross Johnston getting them on the board first. Josh Bailey was able to feed one down low to Johnston who was crashing the net as old friend Robin Lehner was unable to get into position.
After that, the wheels fell off. On the first goal, Dennis Gilbert was able to get past Michael Dal Colle and get a weak backhand on net. That backhand beat Greiss, who I don’t think was expecting a shot, tying up the game.
Just over two minutes later, Dominik Kubalik netted his 11th of the season. It wasn’t a hard shot, and it would definitely be one that Thomas Greiss would like back.
Chicago wasn’t done, Alex DeBrincat would beat Thomas Greiss, the third goal Greiss allowed on 11 shots. After 11:56 of play, Barry Trotz decided to throw Semyon Varlamov in there to try and clean it up.
That score would hold through the remainder of the period. The Islanders would get two power play chances in the second period but they were unable to get one past Robin Lehner, who to no surprise, was brilliant tonight.
After two, the score was still 3-1. 50 seconds into the third frame, Ryan Pulock got his pocket picked by Jonathan Toews who essentially put this one on ice.
That was a vintage Jonathan Toews play right here. Great stick work and he made the Isles pay, as they were caught sleeping again.
Just over two minutes later, Matthew Highmore netted his first career goal to extend the Blackhawks lead and make it five unanswered goals for the home team. Casey Cizikas would add a shorty in garbage time but a 5-2 score would be your final.
It was another rough night for the offense, and defensively the Isles have been struggling as well. It’s a recipe for disaster as the Isles are now just 5-5-1 in their last 11 games.
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Winners: Robin Lehner, Dylan Strome, Jonathan Toews
Losers: Thomas Greiss, Michael Dal Colle, Ryan Pulock