A regulation win could have put the New York Islanders into third place for the playoffs. Home-ice was already not an option, but maybe, they could have had it in the second round. But with an OT loss, that won’t be the case.
The Islanders are locked into the fourth spot in the MassMutual East Division with a 32-17-7 record (71 points). That means a first-round matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But on tonight’s game, the Isles played a playoff game. They were in the Bruins face and really were the better team through the final two-thirds of the game. Unfortunately, they weren’t very good to start things off thanks to some undisciplined play.
New York Islanders loss means fourth place in East
Mathew Barzal (1G, 1A): I know it was on the power play, but look at what happens when you give Mathew Barzal a sniper on this line. With Oliver Wahlstrom out there on the PP, Barzal did his thing in entering the zone with speed (and backing off the defenders) only to dish it to Wahlstrom for the can’t-miss-one-timer.
It’s year one of Wahlstrom, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take reps with Lee and Barzal more regularly next season.
Oliver Wahlstrom (1G, 2SOG): Another goal for the rookie, that’s three points in two games and 12 goals on the year. That’s a 23 goal pace over a full 82-game season.
Semyon Varlamov (25 saves, 0.926SV%): He didn’t finish the game, but he kept the Isles in it while he was. Semyon Varlamov had to be sharp early as the Isles seemingly forgot to set their pre-game nap alarms. The Bruins had 18 shots to the Islanders four in the opening frame, Varly stopped 17 of them.
Update: Barry Trotz indicated that he had a slight strain. The team was just playing cautious and put Sorokin in instead of making things worse.
Leo Komarov (1 cheap shot): My word. What was Leo Komarov doing with that cheap shot on David Pastrnak? I know there wasn’t too much there and I know that no.88 sold that a bit, but still, Leo had to reason to do that. There are certainly more ‘tolerated’ ways to get in Pastrnak’s head.
Casey Czikas (1 OT Giveaway): Casey gave the puck away in OT and it directly lead to Hall’s winner. Not sure why he’s out there for OT.
Nick Leddy (-1.60 GS): Again, Nick Leddy is at the bottom of the game score standings today, for both teams. Leddy held a game low -1.60. A 10.57 xGF% will do that to a player.