HOW IT HAPPENED
The NY Islanders' five-game point streak came to an end on Tuesday night in a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Both teams entered the third period tied at two a piece, but two quick goals by the Wild just 42 seconds apart by Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek was all they needed to take down New York in the final frame. Patrick Maroon had two points for Minnesota, assisting on the Eriksson Ek goal and scoring the game's opening goal 19 seconds into the contest. Noah Dobson continues to stay red hot for the blue and orange, scoring in his second straight game to make it 1-1 in the first. Oliver Wahlstrom finally got the monkey off his back by scoring his first of the season in the second period with a great move and finish to give the Isles a 2-1 lead, which was eventually surrendered. Semyon Varlamov's shutout streak that lasted two games came to an end as well, finishing with 27 saves on 31 shots. Marc-Andre Fleury on the other end stopped 27 of 29 in the win, and with that moves just four wins away from tying Patrick Roy for second place in all-time wins in the NHL.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
New York had a very strong first two periods of the game. There were a few moments where the Isles were able to pin the Wild in their zone on long changes, and even drew penalties on those possessions. Wahlstrom looked confident all game on the first line with Mat Barzal and Anders Lee and had many other chances to score a second goal even with his 13:32 TOI. Speaking of confidence, Dobson has been oozing it continuing his point-per-game pace through 10 games this season, and was certainly their most impactful defenseman against Minnesota. Another good sign was the willingness to shoot the puck more from Barzal, along with driving transitions very effectively for the Isles into the opposing zone. If the Isles were able to cash in more on their opportunities, specifically on the power play, then we would have likely seen a different result.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Unfortunately for the Isles, hockey games are 60 minutes long, not 40. What hurt the Islanders the most in the third period were two consecutive high-sticking penalties that diminished their momentum, allowing Kaprizov to score on the ensuing man advantage. Granted, the latter from Dobson appeared to be a follow-through, but regardless the Islanders could not recover. The Isles simply got outworked on the Eriksson Ek goal to pad the Wild lead at two, with Maroon tenaciously forechecking on Pierre Engvall, which led to the steal and score. Brock Nelson had an uncharacteristic off-night as well for New York, as his shot versus pass decisions were not his strongest leading to chances being thwarted and giving the puck up to Minny. The Isles were without Bo Horvat up the middle, too, one of their best offensive play drivers and finishers this season and a staple on the first power play unit. Hopefully, he won't be out much longer for the Islanders.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
The Isles' moms packed the top suites at UBS Arena on Tuesday at one of the few home games in November for New York.
STATS OF THE GAME
According to Eric Hornick in The Skinny:
- The Isles have outscored their opponents 11-4 in the first period, with the four goals allowed being the fewest in the NHL.
- Semyon Varlamov's shutout streak ended at 137:39 when Pat Maroon scored 19 seconds into the contest.
- Noah Dobson is the first Islander defenseman since James Wisniewski (2010-11) to have at least 11 points in the Isles' first 11 games; also, only Denis Potvin (95) had more goals with the Islanders before his 24th birthday than Dobson (34).
- The Isles allowed two goals in a minute or less for the third time this season (Colorado Avalanche twice).
The Islanders will attempt to rebound against the class of the Eastern Conference when they travel to TD Garden to play the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.