Third Period Rally Falls Short, Devils Defeat Islanders 3-2
With the season winding down, the New York Islanders are trying to finish on a positive note.
Unfortunately, they've struggled to get the wins of late, having dropped two in a row coming into tonight's contest. That losing streak has now been stretched to three, as Rick DiPietro and the Islanders failed to solve New Jersey, who would emerge victorious by a 3-2 final score.
Through 40 minutes of play, the Isles looked absolutely flat. They were turning over the puck and playing undisciplined hockey. The offense wasn't generating many shots or chances and the powerplay continued to struggle.
DiPietro certainly did not have his worst game, but definitely not his best either.
On one Devils goal, Rick was caught looking in the opposite direction after a rebound landed to his glove side, allowing Jacob Josefson to score on a juicy rebound, putting New Jersey ahead 2-0.
Despite his shaky performance, he did make some quality stops and would settle down as the game progressed.
In the third period, the Islanders would finally come back to life.
The Isles started going to the dirty areas and powering to the net, New York was able to break through Jacques Lemaire's infamous "neutral zone trap," resulting in two goals from Frans Nielsen, one on his patented forehand-backhand move (shorthanded) and another by crashing the net.
For the Isles, their penalty killing excellence was perhaps the biggest positive of tonight's matchup.
Although they would knot the score at two-apiece, the Isles lost virtually all momentum when Devils' defenseman Andy Greene beat Rick DiPietro with a shot from above the faceoff circle, putting New Jersey ahead 3-2 and in the driver's seat.
New York would generate a few more offensive flurries, but to no avail. Martin Brodeur was simply phenomenal between the pipes for the Devils, per usual.
Let's hope for a bounce-back performance at the Coliseum tomorrow night, when the Isles take on the arch-rival New York Rangers in the final meeting of the season between the two teams.
Follow Daniel Friedman on Twitter: @dfriedman_isles
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