Isles, Grabner Fly Past Jets in OT
On a day and night that was filled with trade talk and speculation, a very entertaining hockey game was played. The Islanders depleted lineup found a way to slip past the Jets in overtime after blowing yet another 3rd period lead.
The Islanders began the afternoon in Manitoba by trading away one of their 2 big chips, as they sent Andrew MacDonald to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 3rd round pick in the upcoming draft, 2nd round pick in the ’15 draft, and prospect Matt Mangene. After a slew of other trade action throughout the NHL the other main trade piece for the Islanders, Thomas Vanek, was apart of many rumors throughout the late afternoon into the evening. None of the reports ever came to fruition and for now Thomas Vanek is still an Islander, even though he was a healthy scratch for the Isles feel good W in Winnipeg.
Anders Nilsson got his 2nd straight start in net for the Islanders at the MTS Centre and was matched up against Ondrej Pavelec. Both net minders were solid throughout, but Nilsson was just that much better.
The home team started the scoring mid way through the opening period as Andrew Ladd scored his 1st of 2 goals on the night after a great play off of the faceoff. The lead was short lived as the Strome-Lee-McDonald line fore-checked to perfection and after a wicked shot from Strome ricocheted off of the boards Colin McDonald was there to stuff it in.
Another Anders, Anders Lee began the 2nd period with an unbelievable display of hand eye coordination. Lee was on a breakaway that he initially was stopped on, but as the puck fluttered in the air he smacked it in the net just barely keeping his stick below the crossbar.
The game remained at 2-1 even though it seemed like the Isles wanted to give the game away by taking 5 penalties, but the penalty killers did their job. With 5 minutes left in the game the same old story was told again as Ladd was sprung loose for a breakaway of his own and he was sure not to miss. Tie game.
With absolutely nothing to play for and yet another blown lead it seemed as there was no way the Islanders were going to win.
After holding off a late surge and killing another penalty New York forced overtime and one of their top shorthanded specialists was about to be rewarded for a fantastic effort all night. Michael Grabner got behind the defense with about a minute left in the 5 minute OT, after a pretty feed from Cal Clutterbuck, and converted to end the game.
After an enjoyable 3 hours on the ice, the attention is turned back to the front office and the questions remain as to where Vanek will end up: LA? Anaheim? San Jose? Minnesota? Boston?
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