NY Islanders Open 5 Game Road Trip With a Big Win in Toronto
The NY Islanders opened up their 5 game road trip at Air Canada Centre with a 7-4 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This was the first of 3 meetings with Toronto in this abbreviated season.
The Leafs were missing their star forward, Joffrey Lupul who is out with a broken forearm. He will be out 4-6 weeks. Matt Frattin was called up from the AHL to step in with Lupul out. Frattin had a good game collecting 1 goal and 2 assists. (Photo Credit: tvander 2012)
The Isles looked flat and listless in the first period. Even Nabokov looked like he was in a trance. Leafs drew first blood early in the first on a goal by Carl Gunnarsson. Matt Moulson tied it up on a nice play from Tavares about six minutes later. Things then went downhill in a hurry from there.
The Leafs score another from Nazem Kadri 1:05 later. Nabby was looking lost, tired and giving up too many rebounds. Finley on D for the Isles, was not helping matters either. Another quick goal from Mikhail Grabovsky and it was 3-1 Maple Leafs.
This all had Islander fans on Twitter calling for Nabokov to be pulled. Suddenly fans are asking for Rick DiPietro? He hasn't played in a very long time and fans should be careful what they wish for. With back to back game in Toronto and tonight in Boston, you may just get a look at Ricky.
The Isles came into the second period with much more energy and they were getting quality chances that they had not during the first. The entire game shifted on a PP goal from Mark Streit at 11:44 of the second. Assists went to Tavares and Brad Boyes. Less than 90 seconds later Boyes grabbed up his own goal from Neilsen and Grabner in front of his home town family and friends. All tied up.
The Leafs opened up the third period strong with a great chance by John Van Reimsdyk, but Nabokov was looking much sharper now and makes the save. However, Isles Grabner scores at 3:23 from Boyes and Neilsen to take the lead. Isles were on fire at this point, having all the momentum on their side.
Keith Aucoin from McDonald and Ullstrom make it 5-3 two minutes later. Islanders now have 4 unanswered goals. Maple Leafs looking lost, they make a goalie change. James Reimer came in to replace Ben Scrivens. Too little too late for the Leafs.
Matt Moulson scores an unassisted goal at 11:20, right after Tavares takes a brutal face plant to the boards by Dion Phaneuf. JT slow to get moving, but thank goodness there was no injury on the play. Should have been a 4 minute boarding call in my opinion, but the referees apparently missed it.
Matt Carkner then went after Phaneuf in defense of Tavares. Carkner takes a roughing penalty, but this is the good kind. Protect your assests, and JT is certainly an asset. Carkner did exactly what he should have done.
The score was now 6-3 for the Isles. The Leafs had 3 PP opportunities in the third period, however they could not capitalize. Frattin did score for the Leafs at 17:47, but that was it for Toronto.
Isles Grabner finishes off the Leafs with an empty netter at a crazy angle. I have been impressed by Grabner in the first few games. It seems he has worked on his accuracy, and is no longer over skating the play. (Photo Credit: Cassie Madonia)
This was a big win for the Islanders, although they had a lackluster start, they were able to rally and win. This is something they were unable to do last season. They are also now getting secondary scoring which is a great improvement for the team.
Some Final Notes:
Final Score: 7-4 for the Islanders
SOG: 42-33 for the Leafs
Blocked Shots: 15-6 Isles
Hits: 27-24 Leafs
Faceoff's: 34-27 Isles
Isles 1 for 2 on the PP
Leafs 0-3 on the PP
Please Follow @janefisher13 and @TCLIsles