The Upshot: NY Islanders Blanked by the New Jersey Devils

Mar 24, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA;  New York Islanders center Kyle MacLean (32) checks New Jersey
Mar 24, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Kyle MacLean (32) checks New Jersey / Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Just 24 hours after a dominant win at home, the NY Islanders have fallen back into old habbits as they fall 4-0 to Eastern Conference Rivals the New Jersey Devils. The Devils now sit just one point back of the Islanders for 4th place in the wild card race.


The Islanders and Devils played an outstanding first period. Both teams got solid chances and spents some time on the power play. The Isles' special teams got to work early, with two back-to-back power plays, but neither unit was able to convert for the first goal of the game. The two teams played an incredibly fast-paced period, including an 8 minute stretch without a whistle. The first period came to a close with the Devils on a 3-on-5 power play, with Casey Cizikas getting called for tripping with five seconds left in the period, and 1:50 remaining on a Cal Clutterbuck penalty. The Devils wasted no time getting the second period starting, with Timo Meier breaking open the scoring just 28 seconds into the period, and on the man advantage. After a bad collision in the defensive zone between Noah Dobson, Bo Horvat and Kyle Palmieri, the Devils' Jack Hughes got a clean break out of the zone, leaving Mike Riley all alone on defense. Jack Hughes was able to easily snipe one past Sorokin for the 2-0 lead. That sequence is just the perfect description of how the Islanders' season is going. Alexander Holtz extended the Devils' lead 3-0 after a feed from Simon Nemec.

Before the end of the second period, drama ensued after Islanders captain Anders Lee hit Devils captain Nico Hischier knee-on-knee taking Hischier down and into the locker room. Meier stood up for his captain, fighting Lee, who took Meier down easily. Lee bought himself a game misconduct, a 5 minute major for fighting and a 5 minute major for kneeing. Meier got himself a 10 minute misconduct, 5 for fighting and an extra 2 for instigating. The third period saw chances on both sides, with the Islanders outshooting the Devils 13-7. The Islanders couldn't get one in the back of the net, even with a power player and Ilya Sorokin pulled. Chris Tierney was able to get the empty netter for the Devils as they closed out the game 4-0.


The Islanders played better than they have in recent horrific games, like this one. They skated well, putting aside that one collision, and seemed to be communicating better with each other. Their zone entries, especially during the first period were solid and they got a good amount of offensive zone time. They had a lot of chances, including a breakaway by Adam Pelech, but just couldn't sink anything into the back of the net. While it wasn't their best showing, its safe to say this wasn't the Islanders worst game of the season, though it may have been the final nail in the coffin.


This team needs life, head coach Patrick Roy tried his best to motivate and excite this team somehow, but nothing is clicking. In his post-game press conference both Roy and Ryan Pulock noted that the teams major struggles recently, especially tonight have all been mental and that they just need to get out of this rut. It seemed Lee was trying somehow to light a fire under his teams butts with the fight against Meier, but that's not the way to do it. The hit on Hischeir was dirty and should never be thrown, especially not by a veteran and captain who is an incredibly clean player like Lee.


The Islanders are now 0-6-3 on the second half of back-to-backs this season.

Per Rob Taub, tonight was the 20th time this season the the Islanders have allowed 2 or more goals in a 6-minute time span. This has occurred in 28% of games played.


Its an obvious choice.


The Islanders head south to sunny Florida to take on the Florida Panthers on March 28th at Amerant Bank Arena. Puck drop is at 7 pm on MSGSN