3 reasons the Islanders can bounce back from a tough loss in Game 1 to Carolina

The New York Islanders lost Game 1, but this team showed it could match well against one of the best in the Eastern Conference.
New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game One
New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game One / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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Going into Game 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes, it would have been hard to blame any hockey fan thinking it would be an easy win for one of the East’s best teams. The New York Islanders needed to get hot and for a lot to happen just to end up in a playoff rematch against Carolina, and there were wild card teams in the Western Conference that looked way more formidable than New York on paper. 

Then the Isles skated into PNC Arena and played some good hockey, matching the Canes well all afternoon. No, the game didn’t end the way fans on Long Island and those supporting the Isles throughout the globe wanted, but it’s nothing this team can’t bounce back from. 

Let’s discuss three reasons the Isles can put this game in the rearview and go into Game 2 with some optimism.  

New York limited Carolina’s shots on net

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov faced just 25 shots against, and it made for a surprising performance from a team that allowed nearly 33 shots on net per game in the regular season, putting them ahead of only the Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, and Columbus Blue Jackets in the category. 

What’s more? Carolina finished the year with 33.32 shots on net per contest, putting them third in the league and behind only the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers. For the Isles to severely limit what Carolina could do last night it could foreshadow that this series may not ultimately turn out the way one would logistically expect. 

There are no guarantees this will continue into Game 2, but nevertheless, credit the Isles for finding a way to stifle Carolina’s sensational scoring units. While New York limited Carolina’s shot attempts, they also came up with plenty of their own, even if they found the back of the net just once.