HOW IT HAPPENED
The New York Islanders' struggles in home matinees continued, falling to the Calgary Flames 5-2 at UBS Arena on Saturday. MacKenzie Weager scored 3:47 into the first period on his way to his first NHL hat trick in the win, the fourth straight for the Flames (25-22-5). Jonathan Huberdeau scored a power-play goal, and Blake Coleman scored an empty netter to put the game away. Jacob Markstrom made 35 saves in the win and assisted on Weager's first goal. Brock Nelson and JG Pageau had third-period goals for the Islanders (22-18-12). Matthew Barzal extedned his points streak to five games with an assist. Semyon Varlamov had 19 saves in the loss.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Isles didn't sustain anything offensively until the third period, when they made a significant push, leading to them registering 37 shots on goal on the afternoon. Brock Nelson scored his team-leading 22nd goal to bring them within two goals less than five minutes into the period, but they weren't able to get the next one to give themselves a chance to earn a point. The closest they came was when Adam Pelech hit the cross-bar midway through the period.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Varlamov hadn't played since Jan. 27th and lack of game action might have played part in the first goal allowed to Weager. It was a fluttering, knuckling shot that appeared to fool Varlamov and put the Islanders in an early hole.
The team also continues to struggle mightily on the penalty kill. As good as their defense has been at even strength since Roy took over, he has been unable to rectify the deficiencies when they are down a man. The Flames only had one power play but were able to capitalize when Huberdeau made it 2-0 at the 8:38 of the second period off a rebound of a Noah Hanafin shot.
“We were unlucky, but we didn't get the job done, period,” Roy said of the PK. “And we have to get the job done. That was a key moment in the game because Bo has a really good chance just before that to make it a 1-1 game. And then we gave up that that goal made a 2-0 game and then you're digging that hole."
STATS OF THE GAME
Per NHL PR, Noah Dobson recorded his 47th assist of the season on Brock Nelson's goal – the most by a defenseman since Vladimir Malakhov had 47 in 1993-94. The assist tied Dobson (for the time being) with Cale Makar and Connor McDavid in the category.
Varlamov played in his 600th career-game, an impressive mark for a goaltender. “It's a pretty good number for goalie,” Varlamov said after the game. “I'm happy to get the numbers but I'm disappointed that we lost today. For me the most important thing was to get the win today.”
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Brendan Burke's on Colin wasn't happy before the game and most fans shared the same frown by the end of the afternoon.
The Islanders are back at home against the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.
The puck drops at 7:30 PM EST