The New York Islanders played host to Devon Toews and the Colorado Avalanche tonight at UBS Arena. The first period was a strange one. The referees were a little quick to the whistle and there were a couple of questionable calls.
First, the Isles went to the power play and it was Anders Lee who netted his 15th goal of the season assisted by none other than Noah Dobson.
In a lost season we can appreciate just how good Noah Dobson is for this team. He has taken a massive step forward in his development this year and he's proving it night in and night out for the Islanders.
Then, Andy Greene took a "penalty". I have penalty in quotes because it elicited this reaction from Barry Trotz on the bench:
On that power play, naturally, Cale Makar came through with a goal to tie it up at one. Frustrating when the lone goal of the period was on the power play and the penalty was a questionable one.
In the second, no goals were scored on either side. While there weren't any goals Semyon Varlamov put on an absolute clinic in net. I mean come on look at this save.
Just unreal stuff from Semyon Varlamov who looked like the 2020 and 2021 version of himself tonight which has been rare for him this season. Now at the end of the period, the Islanders had a great chance to get the lead and Josh Bailey sent it wide.
Come. On. He can't buy a goal right now and when Mat Barzal is ready to return he has to be the one to go to the scratchpad.
Early in the third, Sebastian Aho went off for hooking against Alex Newhook. Semyon Varlamov made big save after big save on the man advantage but right as the power play expired, Nathan MacKinnon scored to give the Avalanche the lead.
It went off of Pageau's shin, off the ice, and over Varlamov. That's just unlucky.
Well, things went off the rails right after that as J.T. Compher scored his 11th of the year. Oliver Wahlstrom went in with Ryan Pulock to the corner and nobody covered Compher. Out of frustration, Wahlstrom cracked his stick in half as he had the wrong assignment.
Cale Makar added his second of the game just moments later. Islanders went full meltdown mode allowing three goals in the span 3:35. Yes, Colorado clearly is stacked with talent but that was an embarrassing effort to start the third period.
Devon Toews got in on the fun as he scored at 8:27. Semyon Varlamov was outstanding tonight but five goals got past him. Don't look at the stat sheet for tonight, the team in front of him just went full meltdown in the third.
Another positive spin, Anders Lee scored another power play goal, his 200th goal of his career, to make it a 5-2 game. It'd be nice to get Lee hot again, he was previously ice cold.
The Islanders decided to show some life again. Just moments later Casey Cizikas scored his seventh of the year and suddenly it was a 5-3 game. They weren't dead yet as they'd go to a power play opportunity with just over three minutes left. They didn't score on the power play but with 26.2 seconds left in the game, Brock Nelson scored his 21st goal of the year.
It was too little too late as they were unable to find the equalizer but the Islanders scored three unanswered goals. The positive is they didn't quit, but there's no way they should've been in this spot to begin with.