Streit Stuns Kings- Islanders 2 Kings 1 (OT)
Mark Streit found himself in a position he isn’t normally used to.
In overtime, he found himself all alone in front of Los Angeles Kings goal-tender Jonathan Quick with the game on the line.
A backhand Frans Nielsen would be proud of later, the New York Islanders were mobbing Streit in the corner, amidst a wild celebration.
At 1:36 of the extra session, Streit scored his 5th goal of the season, second in two games, as the Islanders stunned the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Andrew MacDonald and Matt Moulson assisted on the goal.
After a sluggish start in their last game, the Isles came out fast and furious with strong physical play and quality scoring chances. They were rewarded at 6:52 of the first as Michael Grabner found a loose puck and fired it past Quick for the opening goal. It was his 15th of the season.
The Kings carried the play for the entire second period and found an equalizer when Andrei Loktionov scored his first goal of the season off a rebound at 5:20 in the second period.
The third period was more of the same for Los Angeles, great chances but nothing in the score column. They have scored a league-worst 120 goals this season.
Evgeni Nabokov out-lasted Quick in a battle of top tier goaltenders. With his 306th career victory he moved fast Islanders great Billy Smith into 22th all time in league history. The victory improved the Isles to 23-23-8, just eight points of the eighth and final playoff spot.
What a difference 48 hours makes in Islanders country.
After Thursday’s disappointing effort against the Canadiens it seemed like the season was over and everything was wrong with the world.
Tonight’s game was another gutty effort from Nabokov in goal and an absolute clutch goal by Streit. It was very similar however, to the Canadiens game.
The first period was great for the first 17 minutes, they played with purpose and emotion and got an early Grabner goal. They tend to play well with a lead, like any other team, but this team feeds especially seems to tighten their game in a positive manner, It all fell apart at the end of the 1st period. The Kings, to their credit, came on with some good pressure and tremendous forechecking.
The second period was frustrating to watch. Everything the Kings did that period worked great. Forechecking was great, they forced 8 or 10 turnovers in the offensive zone and really limited the Islanders from doing anything.The long Kings goal on the afternoon was poor coverage in front of the net. Milan Jurcina cannot be left in front against one player, let alone two.
The third period was exciting in stretches and a strong effort from both teams. The power-play continues to struggle against strong forechecking teams. Quick was sensational in the third, absolutely robbing Nielsen in front late in the 3rd. Nabokov was equal to the test as well, benefiting slightly from a goalies best friend.
Overtime was quick and painless, this time for the good guys. Streit did a tremendous job on the rush and made sure he made no mistake with his opportunity. I have been pretty hard on him this season, but this was one of his top games, goal aside. He was throwing his body around all night and kept a pretty good forward Ante Kopitar, to the outside all game and most importantly, off the scoreboard. He said after Thursday’s loss, he and the team had to better. I was glad to see him act on his word like a captain of a team needs to do.
Tonight was a must win and they got it done, no matter how ugly it was. The Kings play those 2-1 games all the time so it was expected to be a low-scoring game. It was a dirty game for teams that normally don’t play each other, mostly it looked like the Kings expected to come in and coast to an easy win. They seemed to hone in on P.A Parenteau with a lot of the after the play roughness. This is a game the Islanders are not equipped to play. A tough guy would benefit them immensely, (more on that in the SoundTigers report) as the liberties teams take will begin to happen less frequently.
Today’s game against Florida is absolutely huge. Defend your home ice.