HOW IT HAPPENED
The Colorado Avalanche came out of the gate hot to start the first period, getting a quick goal by Ryan Johansen that just seemed to float passed Ilya Sorokin. The Avs absolutely dominated the first period of play, outshooting the Islanders 17-6, and controlling the style and pace of play. Goaltender Ilya Sorokin was doing Sorokin things all night with huge stops on the Avs power forwards, including a "the sorokin" save here and there. The Islanders were lucky to have Sorokin in net and finished the first only down by one after a deflection by Cal Clutterbuck and a beauty of a backhander by Avs defenseman Cale Makar.
The Islanders looked like a different team during the second and third periods, playing much more evenly matched with teh Avs and not letting them dictate play. For the first time all season, the Isles were able to net a power play goal with a shot from Kyle Palmieri from Mat Barzal below the dot only three minutes into the period. This really set the tone of play for the period with the Isles not letting the Avs walk all over them and get some chances of their own in. One chance came three minutes after the PP goal, when Simon Holmstrom sniped the puck passed Alexander Georgiev for his first goal of the season, which is a shot coaching staff and fans want to see used more. Despite maintaining the lead for most of the second period, the Avs scored twice in 13 seconds during the final minute of play to take the lead and finish off the second period.
The Third period was similar to the second, with captain Anders Lee getting his first of the season almost 5 minutes into the period to tie the game 4-4. However, Mikko Rantanen gets a quick one passed Sorokin only minutes later to take back the lead for the Avs. With a minute remaining Sorokin was pulled and the avs were able to get not one but two empty net goals to finish the game 7-4 and continue their win streak of six games to start the season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Islanders offense looked amazing during the second and third period. Coming back from a period where they only had six shots on net, they were able to out shoot the Avs during the second and third periods. During the second they outshot 16-14 and 10-9 during the third, and were able to get a few high danger shots in there. The night can't be finished without mentioning that the Isles were FINALLY able to put up a power play goal for the first time all season.
The Islanders offense was also dominant in the faceoff circle across the entire lineup finishing with 62.1% of wins. Bo Horvat stayed consistent and had the lowest success rate of the forwards with 50%, the Casey Cizikas with 54.5%. J.G Pageau had a 68.8% success rate and Brock Nelson absolutely dominated winning 73.3% of the faceoff he took. Holmstrom even got in there for a faceoff and was credited with an 100% by NHL.com.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Tonight showed a systematic breakdown by the Avs of the Islanders defensive game that they are usually prided on. As good as Adam Pelech normally is, and many fans believe him to be one of, if not the, best defensive defenseman in the league, tonight was not his night. He was on the ice for all five Avalanche goals. His defensive partner for the night Ryan Pulock was on for four. Despite the massive success of the newly formed Holmstrom-Pageau-Clutterbuck line, Holmstrom found himself on the ice for three Avs goals, alongside Clutterbuck. Cizikas and Pageau were luckily only a -2 on the night.
The Isles were beat by themselves tonight, a tough matchup was expected against a team that has yet to lose this season and is one of the best offensive teams in the NHL. But, the Isles just couldn't play their game tonight. Too many mistakes and miscommunications led to the Avs controling all 60 minutes, even when the Isles had moments of domination in the second and third. They let their feet off the gas too many times and the Avs took advantage of their shut down.
STATS OF THE GAME
Per NHL PR, Alexander Georgiev became the eigth goaltender in NHL history to win each of his teams's first six games of a season. The Avs are now tied for first place for longest regular-season road win streak... with themselves at 14 games.
Ilya Sorokin allowed five goals in consecutive games for the first time in his NHL career; the ten goals allowed matched the total in his first two NHL games.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Little did Isles Den know that this tweet would be the exact outcome of the night. Hope fans had more fun tuning into the Frozen Frenzy than this game.
The Isles are set to take on the Ottawa Senators (3-3-0) at UBS Arena on Thursday October 26 at 7:30.