HOW IT HAPPENED
As the great Ron Burgundy once said... "I'm in a glass case of emotion..." which is the perfect way to explain watching the NY Islanders defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 in OT.
The Islanders were drastically outshot 43-16, but timely goals kept them in the game all night. A beautiful pass from Mat Barzal redirected by Bo Horvat tied the game at one heading into the first intermission before Jordan Staal gave the 'Canes the lead early into the second. Simon Holmstrom scored his fourth shorthanded goal of the season to tie it at two before Pierre Engvall slid one through the wickets of Pyotr Kochtkov to take a one-goal advantage heading into the third. But in typical Islanders fashion, the lead didn't hold up. As ESPN announcer and Long Island native Steve Levy put it... "39 seconds, that's all it took!" A Jack Drury goal saw the Isles in a similar situation, blowing another lead. Kyle Palmieri took the lead again on the power play before chaos ensued in the waning moments. Trying to drain away the last few seconds of the game, Sebastian Aho poked home the tying goal with just over two seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. Barzal's seventh goal of the season in the extra frame sent the Isles home with two points in a game they had no business winning.
“Obviously feels nice, not even so much for me, just for our group." said Barzal. "Kind of got the monkey off our back. It's been a few games now where we've had the lead and weren't able to finish it off. So nice to get the monkey off the back for sure as a group."
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Isles showed resiliency but were brutally outplayed for nearly the entire night. They never allowed the game to slip away from them on the scoreboard, due mostly in part to the play of Semyon Varlamov between the pipes. While trailing 2-1, Varly made a magnificent save on Jesperi Kotkaniemi as he walked unimpeded through the middle of the ice. Another post-to-post save late in the third on Aho kept the Isles ahead before the inevitable tying goal. The power play did its job once again, as the Isles climb their way into the top 10 on the man advantage.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Isles struggled to get rubber toward the net all night, despite scoring five goals. With only 16 shots on goal, they only attempted 39, as opposed to the Hurricanes, who attempted 96, getting 43 through. Nearly 10 minutes into the second period, the Isles hadn't attempted a shot on goal, which led Steve Levy to utter, " Seven shots on goal, hard to score goals that way."
STATS OF THE GAME
- The Isles finished with a CF% (corsi for %) of 28.89 - their second worst of the season, ahead of only the first time they played the Hurricanes, where they ended with a CF% of 27.34
- Simon Holmstrom is tied for the league lead in shorthanded goals with four. Four of his six goals on the season have come while a man down
- The Isles have scored road power play goals in five straight games and in six of seven
- A Brock Nelson penalty while on the power play was the 10th time the Isles have negated their own man advantage with a penalty of their own
- The Isles have blown a third period lead ten times this season, including twice tonight
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
A relieved Mat Barzal speaks with the ESPN crew after his game-winner. Before the start of the third, ESPN spoke with Barzal about his team's struggles with maintaining a lead in the third period.
The Isles head south to Sunrise, FL, to take on the defending Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers Saturday night for a 6:00 puck drop.