Well, that was a frustrating one for the New York Islanders. In this game, the Isles had numerous opportunities to bury the puck but were just unable to and some costly mistakes and some costly calls were the difference tonight.
In the first, the Isles came out buzzing. The top line looked good and the third line had an opportunity as well that Oliver Wahlstrom sent just high. Instead, it was Sam Bennett in front of the net who got the Panthers on the board at 9:10.
Noah Dobson did a brutal drop trying to clear the front of the net and the rebound sat on a silver platter from him. In the second, Bennett would score again for his second of the night on a wrap-around opportunity.
Clearly, there was some miscommunication between Ilya Sorokin and the Isles defense but still, too easy for Bennet. It would appear like the Islanders would get an answer from Ryan Pulock but the goal was cleared off the board due to interference from Anders Lee.
The irony here was that Radko Gudas was called for a penalty on the play. The goal didn’t count but the Isles would go to a power play. No luck, they looked much better on this one, and then they’d get another chance off a delay of game penalty but still, weren’t able to get one past Sergei Bobrovsky.
After the momentum died off for the power play, Anthony Duclair would add a third goal on a breakaway opportunity. There wasn’t much that Sorokin could do here as Duclair put on a pretty nifty move in close.
Early in the third, the Islanders would get their fourth power play opportunity of the day and Oliver Wahlstrom made them pay. On their first six opportunities on the season, they were held off the board on the man advantage but Wahlly went five-hole to change that.
The momentum didn’t last long as Sam Bennett would add his third of the game for a hat trick and the final nail in the coffin in this one. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last one either. Aleksander Barkov got his first of the season to make it a 5-1 game.
It was a tough night for defenseman Zdeno Chara who was on for four of the five goals tonight. It’s been an uncharacteristic start for the season for the Isles who have allowed 11 goals in two games.
Ilya Sorokin started his season with a .875 save percentage in the first game and a .828 save percentage here tonight against Florida. They have some things to clean up before Chicago on Tuesday.