The New York Islanders handed the New Jersey Devils a gift: the Newark team's first shootout win in over a year. That was the most notable takeaway from a game that few saw.
As this game wasn't televised anywhere, here is a sampling of eyes on the game, including Newsday reporter Arthur Staple's Twitter feed @StapeNewsday and the Post's Brett Cyrgalis @BrettCyrgalis, as well as a few other notes:
Boxscore | Game Sum | Event Sum
Slow Start, But Halak Sharp
#Isles with the kill, only thanks to Halak. First period ends 1-0 NJD, Devils with 10-7 shot advantage. Not a banner 1st for #Isles.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 2, 2014
Jaroslav Halak didn't get much work in the first two periods, but he reportedly stood on his head to kill off a penalty to finish the first. We will take the words of the few witnesses at face value.
Well, if there were a TV camera anywhere in this building, you'd be seeing Halak's save just now on Merrill for quite a while... Wowzers.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 2, 2014
Dan Savarino of the award-winning WRHU provideth a clip, however:
The Islanders would swing the shot pendulum back the other way for the rest of the game (regulation shots finished 20-20).
Hello, Corey Schneider: It took the Devils 17 minutes to get a shot in the second period, yet the score remained just 1-0.
No Luck for Strome, But Effort Noticed
On the radio, Ryan Strome was the subject of raised tones for near-misses, but it just wasn't to be.
Strome misses open net on #Isles PP, backhand goes off post with Schneider down and out. Still 1-0 NJD with 7:30 left in second.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 3, 2014
By most accounts, Strome had a very active game. But no one really knows how much these games will affect the final roster decisions, just as no one has the "fly-on-the-wall" angle inside the Islanders' brain trust's head. Decisions, injuries, and old habits loom large.
Frans Nielsen also hit metal, but he has a job locked up so no one is looking at his preseason points totals.
UPDATE: Jack Capuano on Strome after the game:
I thought he was strong, his last two games were strong. I mentioned before the game I wanted to see him between Grabovski and Kulemin at center, and he did well there. Couple of breakout games for him.
Here is more from Capuano, mostly on Strome, in answers that came after the quotes referenced above:
Meanwhile, this from Staple:
Strome: "My first 2 games weren't where they needed to be and I had a good talk with the coaches. My last 2 games I felt a lot better...— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 3, 2014
Strome: "... and I think the coaches might feel the same way. You never think you need a talk, but maybe it was what I needed to hear."— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 3, 2014
A theoretical competitor to Strome (if Strome is a wing candidate), Cory Conacher was stopped on a breakaway in overtime.
Tootoo concession and fall in NZ gave Isles first full attack of night. Game's got a pace to it. #NJDevils not falling as a whole— John Fischer (@JKFischer) October 2, 2014
Mallrat on the Board
Kael Mouillierat tied the game early in the third period after deflecting in a shot by Scott Mayfield.
Goal officially credited to Kael Mouillierat at 4:51 of the 3rd period.. #Isles 1, #NJDevils 1— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 3, 2014
It was apparently a fortunate bounce -- so said the witnesses -- but I'm sure Mouillierat, who has never played a regular season NHL game, will take it.
Only a Third-Rate Organization Something-Something-Something...
When the Islanders do this it will be all Wang or Brooklyn's fault:
So the boards tonight at the Prudential Center are...yellow? Why? pic.twitter.com/v441p7YneI— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 2, 2014
Word from @TGfireandice (who would know) is that the yellow boards act as greenscreen for TV to switch ads. Although no TV at all tonight...— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 2, 2014
Speaking of which, not only was this game not televised -- it was also hardly seen:
Some say no, but I say the crowd here at The Rock has reached triple digits.— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 2, 2014
What about the Lines?
1-1 here in Newark, 5:20 left in 3rd. Shots are 20-14 #Isles; Capuano has juggled lines, 12-51-89 and 84-18-86 pretty effective.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 3, 2014
#Isles 3rd period line: Conacher-Nielsen-Bailey; Strome-Grabovski-Kulemin; Lee-Quine-McDonald. 4th the same.— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) October 3, 2014
Sounds like Jack Capuano had a look at different combos throughout the night, which is what NHL teams often do, but which Twitter has told me is a disastrous thing that will cause the Islanders to start the season off horribly because everything is wrong, always wrong. Sports fans are the best.
The Islanders started the shootout with Colin McDonald to allow him to prove he could shoot high and wide on a breakaway. Frans Nielsen went with an against-type deke to the left side, preserving his real magic for when it matters. Mikhail Grabovski also shot wide in round 5, as no Islander could beat Schneider in the OT breakaway drill.
The Devils won it in that round, with Travis Zajac being the culprit and only conversion.
The Islanders are back at it tomorrow against the Bruins in Bridgeport, where the game at the Islanders' AHL affiliate is already sold out. So: Slightly larger crowd than tonight's affair.
Edit: I had the score in the headline wrong originally. BAD JOB. Preseason form.