The Upshot: The NY Islanders season comes to an end following 2-1 overtime loss
HOW IT HAPPENED
Cal Clutterbuck opened the scoring in Game 6 of the first-round matchup at UBS Arena between the NY Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. Clutterbucks goal served as the only tally on both sides until the Islanders and 'Canes got to the halfway mark of the third period where Sebastian Aho tied the game at one scoring his fourth goal of the series and playoffs. 60 minutes wasn't enough as New York and Carolina went to overtime to solve Game 6. However, six minutes into extra time, Derek Stepan forced a turnover, a failed clear attempt by Adam Pelech, and found Paul Statsny on the goal line. Statsny from a sharp angle beat Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin to end the Islanders' season. Despite allowing the sharp-angle goal, Sorokin played exceptionally making 39 saves on 41 shots. Returning from injury, the Hurricanes started goaltender Frederick Anderson for the first time in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Anderson made 33 saves on 34 shots.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Islanders got off to a great start, coming out with their legs moving in the first period. Clutterbuck broke through just under 10 minutes into the first period to give the Islanders the 1-0 lead on home ice with a great snipe that beat Anderson short side.
After taking a plethora of penalties in the first five games, the Islanders played disciplined in Game 6, staying out of the penalty box as much as possible and only going to the penalty kill twice, both of which they killed off.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The power(less) play continued to haunt the Islanders this series as they went to the man advantage three times and could not convert. The Islanders scored just one power-play goal in the playoffs.
What may be even worse is the fact that the Islanders have been expected to be bad on the power play, but in this series, they were actually the better team at 5on5, except for in the final 26 minutes of their season. After a strong opening 40 minutes, the Islanders were severely outplayed in the third period as the Hurricanes outshot the Islanders 19-5. In overtime, the Hurricanes outshot the Islanders 3-1.
STATS OF THE GAME
PerNHL PR, Clutterbuck collected the 1-0 goal for the Islanders, who own an all-time record of 23-8 when scoring first in potential elimination games including a 13-4 mark as the home team. However, the loss worsens those records to 23-9 and 13-5.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Following the overtime loss, the Islanders skaters could be seen comforting Sorokin, as the Hurricanes celebrated their overtime victory below his crease, recognizing that the franchise goaltender did everything in his power to keep the Islanders in the game and series.
The Islanders will have their exit meetings in the next few days. Following exit meetings, the NHL Entry Draft on Wednesday, June 28th is the most notable event before free-agency this summer.