The New York Islanders lost to the New York Rangers for the second time this week, but this time with a much closer score of 3-2.
The New York Islanders went into this game looking for redemption after being embarrassed by their arch-rivals 6-2 just three days prior.
Things started off well as the Islanders outshot the Rangers 22-6 in the first period and went into the first intermission up 1-0, thanks to a goal by Josh Bailey (his second game in a row with a goal.)
However, the next two periods witnessed the Rangers coming out much harder and outplaying the Islanders. Similar to several games this season, the Islanders failed to play a full, 60-minute hockey game.
With that being said, let’s take a look at my three takeaways from Thursday night’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers.
1. Islanders Need A True Goal Scorer
At the end of the night, the New York Islanders ended up with 40 shots on goal but only two goals. They had 13 high-danger chances for (HDCF) throughout the game, but could only manage two goals.
If you don’t think that’s bad, the Islanders managed to receive five powerplays last night. Yes, you read that correctly. The NEW YORK ISLANDERS had FIVE POWERPLAYS in one game. This is great, however, they were unable to score on any of the opportunities.
One of these opportunities saw several great chances with nothing to show for it to then have Tony DeAngelo step out of the box, take the puck and skate into the Isles zone before sniping a shot over Semyon Varlamov’s blocker.
The Blue and Orange should’ve ended the night with four or five goals, but because they lack a true goal scorer they lost 3-2.
2. Islanders Need to Stay Disciplined
The Isles may have had five powerplays, but so did the Rangers. The Islanders took several bad penalties throughout the game, including the last one, a cross-check by Derick Brassard within the last minute of the third period, which would cost the Isles the game.
The Rangers have too much offensive talent to give that many powerplay opportunities to. The Islanders penalty kill started off well, killing the first two Ranger powerplays. But ultimately, it floundered when it mattered most and finished 2/5 on the PK.
If the Islanders took fewer penalties, they could’ve ended up winning or at least made it to overtime.
3. It’s Great to Have Casey Cizikas Back
Right away you could tell Cizikas had been missed and the team plays much different with him in the lineup, as his hustle on the ice is unmatched.
Due to his hustle and hockey smarts, Cizikas was causing turnover after turnover and, in turn, creating chance after chance. Cizikas lead the team last night in hits and takeaways, with four and two respectively.
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A big part of Cizikas creating chances was his ability to win faceoffs. Cizikas dominated the faceoff circle, going 14/17 (82%).
Hopefully, Cizikas can stay healthy for the remainder of the season.