The Upshot: NY Islanders' third-period comeback attempt not enough to beat St. Louis, losing 7-4

St Louis Blues v New York Islanders
St Louis Blues v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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99. 4. 106. Final. 7

HOW IT HAPPENED

After coming off of a shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, the NY Islanders fell to the St. Louis Blues 7-4 after coming close to amounting a four-goal comeback in the third period. Josh Leivo opened the scoring for the Blues on a 2-on-1 rush, but Noah Dobson responded moments later to knot the first period at one apiece. In the second period, the Islanders could not get much going offensively and allowed two more goals from Ivan Barbashev and Ryan O'Reilly, the former also coming on a 2-on-1.

Noel Acciari deflected a Justin Faulk shot home early in the third, which was followed by the game-winner from Colton Parayko which was one Ilya Sorokin would certainly like to have back. The Islanders were able to come close to tying the game by rattling off three goals to make it 5-4, but just didn't have enough luck on their side as the Blues notched two empty netters to end the comeback bid. Thomas Greiss made 36 saves on 40 shots in his return to Long Island, along with former Islanders defenceman Nick Leddy registering an assist in his return.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Not a lot to say the least. The Isles' best point of the game definitely came in the third period right after going down 5-1. This team clearly is very comfortable playing from behind, as we've seen quite often this season, but it seemed like the team played better and had more motivation while down by a wide margin, which also showed on the score sheet. Knowing what it takes to always stay in a game is a good trait for a team to have, but at some point, which could be when the season's end approaches, it gets a little concerning when they always need to make a comeback.

Speaking positively, however, Parise is playing great hockey lately as if he was 30 years old again. He recorded a goal and an assist in the loss, zipping one off the wing to beat Griess short side to make it 5-2. Hudson Fasching, who came up from Bridgeport and has looked like a solid option to fill in for injured players in the bottom six, scored his first NHL goal by deflecting Matt Martin's shot down and in to make it 5-4. The comeback could have been one of the best this season if they were able to complete it, but it was just too big of a hole to get out of.

WHAT WENT WRONG

As said above, the Islanders were not able to take any momentum going forward into both the second and third periods. After a tied first period, it just seemed like the Blues just wanted to win more, and took so much momentum into the third period specifically with the Islanders looking deflated after letting up some rather weak goals. An interesting thing to note as well is that every goal scored by St. Louis came at even strength in a pretty clean game penalty-wise.

Ilya Sorokin, Ryan O'Reilly
St Louis Blues v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Sorokin did not have his best day, and one could definitely say it was his worst outing so far in an otherwise spectacular season. He made 21 saves on 26 shots and overall just didn't look comfortable like usual. Granted, the first two goals he let up came on odd-man rushes, but both shots were certainly stoppable. The game-winning goal should have been a routine save from outside the blue line, but for some reason, Parayko's shot fooled the Russian netminder. At the very least, Sorokin has been very consistent this season and is still the clear-cut starter, so hopefully it was just one off night for him.

STATS OF THE GAME

Per NHL PR, Noah Dobson scored his eighth goal of the season, tied for second on the Islanders behind forward Brock Nelson (12) and second among NHL defensemen behind only Erik Karlsson (11). He is on pace to become the second different defenseman in franchise history to score 20+ goals in a seasonDenis Potvin (9x) is the only blueliner to hit the mark for the club, last doing so 37 years ago.

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

Nick Leddy played his first game against the Islanders in New York since being traded to the Detroit Red Wings after the 2020-21 season, and received a warm welcome back from the Isles' faithful. Leddy played 518 games for the blue and orange, scoring 243 points along with 23 points in 67 playoff games in seven seasons.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Isles' next matchup comes against one of the hottest teams in the NHL, and Metropolitan division rival New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.