Islanders Collapse Late And Give Away Two Points
The Islanders gave up a late two goal lead and lose to the Capitals in overtime. The game was mostly back and forth but in the end the Islanders didn’t finish the game the way they needed to in order to win.
The new lines seemed to be working out as the Islanders were first to strike in the first period when Josh Bailey made a few great moves to get to the net and bury a shot. The goal was Bailey’s 7th of the season and was assisted by Frans Nielsen and Andrew MacDonald. This gave the Islanders an early lead and the hope that they could take the Capitals off their game early. A sore spot of the Islanders coming into this game was their penalty kill, which was only 12-20 in their last six games. It was tested twice in the first period when Kyle Okposo took two-minutes for high sticking at 5:21 and not too much later at 10:23 Steve Staios got two-minutes for hooking. The Islanders were able to withstand the pressure from the Capitals and kill off both penalties. The first period was largely dominated by the Capitals as they outshot the Islanders 13-3.
The second period didn’t see any scoring from either team but it saw a few penalties for each side. Hendricks took a tripping penalty at 6:16 to give the Islanders their first power play of the game. The Islanders were able to generate some offensive pressure but the power play ended early when David Ulstrom took a minor penalty for holding at 8:03. The Islanders were able to kill the penalty without giving up a goal. They went back on the power play at 12:26 when Troy Brouwer flipped the puck into the crowd for a delay of game penalty. The Islanders once again were able to generate some offensive chances but the power play ended early when Okposo took a penalty for hooking. The second period was largely dominated by the Islanders with plenty of chances and most of the period being spent in the Capitals end. The Islanders were still down in shots at the end but it was a lot closer margin with the Capitals winning 20-15. (Photo Credit: Clydeorama/Flickr)
The third period started with the Islanders extending their lead when Matt Moulson deflected a shot from the point by Steve Staios. It was Moulson’s 27th of the season that came just over two minutes into the period. The collapse of the Islanders slowly started to take place as the period continued on. The Capitals brought the game back within one when Troy Brouwer was able to score off a feed from the corner from Perreault with under 4 minutes left to play. The collapse continued late with under 30 seconds left in the game when Brouwer struck again. He was able to deflect a shot from Brooks Laich that tied the game.
The collapse continued into overtime with the momentum carrying over to the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin threw salt into the wound and ended the game with a shot that beat Nabokov five-hole just a minute and a half into overtime.
The Islanders demonstrated tonight that they do not belong in the playoffs this season. The team simply got too comfortable with a small lead late in the game against an extremely talented team. That is unacceptable and is not something you see out of a team that is supposed to be fighting for a playoff spot. This is all part of the learning curve for the Islanders; they weren’t expected to make the playoffs this season but they were expected to challenge and that is exactly what they are doing.
The Islanders return to the ice Thursday night when they travel to Philadelphia to play the Flyers.
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