The New York Islanders finished a homestand with a topsy-turvy 4-3 loss to a Winnipeg Jets team it seemed they should beat.
Things started so well: The Islanders controlled the first period and drew three power plays (a few dodgy calls, but they were reversed with some dodgy calls the other way). It was a little worrying that they emerged from those chances with only a 1-0 lead at the intermission.
Indeed, early in the second, the game changed: Nikolay Kulemin threw a hit on Mark Stuart in a dangerous position, and the Jets scored twice on the ensuing major for a 2-1 lead. An ugly shot from distance past Jaroslav Halak's glove made it 3-1.
All was still salvageable though: Two quick Isles goals (John Tavares on the power play, Mikhail Grabovski on the Grabbo Play) meant the game was tied 3-3 going into the second intermission. The home team was back.
But no, they weren't: 3:31 into the third, Andrew Ladd took back the lead with the final goal of the game on a fat rebound and blown check after a blown entry. Save for some chances during the Islanders' desperate final-minutes push, the pendulum had swung Winnipeg's way, and they weren't letting go.
[ Box | Game Sum | Event Sum | Fancy/Shifts: War-on-Ice - Natural Stat Trick - HockeyStats.ca | Recaps: | Isles | NHL |]
Battle Level Report
HAHD: Kulemin. Too hahd. Foolishly hahd. That major penalty changed the game.
SMAHT: I just got a kick out of Lubomir Visnovsky rubbing out Dustin Byfuglien; that's two games in a row Vis uses smart body positioning to overcome a size mismatch. Smaht and hahd.
WARRIORS: Mikhail Grabovski. Your buddy Kulemin puts the team in the bind, and then you display a beautiful drive to the net, with patience, to tie it back up? Nice. Nearly bailed them out again when he hit the post on a late third-period break which drew a penalty.
PASSENGERS: Kyle, Kyle, Kyle. You guys erase the two-goal deficit to enter the third period tied...and you not only cough it up dangling at their blueline, but then you let Ladd beat you to the rebound? Speaking of which, that rebound wasn't even the second-worst goal Halak conceded. His glove on Trouba's goal looked like Pavelec's on Anders Lee's first career goal.
OVERALL BATTLE LEVEL: Cappy not happy.
This guy. This guy right here: