The New York Islanders will finish the 2013-14 season with 13 home wins, the fewest since the 2000-01 season. In this shootout-filled, bonus point age, I'm not sure how you even manage that, given the standard 41 opportunities.
But anyway, they did it, conceding 131 goals against on home ice for the season, which is the second-worst total in the league behind only the Ottawa Senators (132 but with two home games remaining), who delivered the final blow and last indignity to Nassau Coliseum this spring.
This game, like many of them and yet like not nearly enough, was close and winnable in the third period. Behind just 1-0 at the second intermission after both goalies had a surprisingly good first 40 minutes, Frans Nielsen tied it 22 seconds into the third period.
But then Jason Spezza scored his second goal of the game, an amazing zero-angle shot off Anders Nilsson's back and into the net, and then Ales Hemsky piled on with a smooth forehand delay after zipping around Kevin Czuczman, and the game was quickly out of reach.
Matt Kassian, who was bloodied in a Brett Gallant's one-and-done first NHL fight (gif below), was able to soften some of that pain by depositing into the empty net for his own first goal of the season.
The Isles outshot the Sens 46-32 on the night after bombarding Craig Anderson with a 19-7 shot advantage in the first period alone. But it wasn't enough. They still passed when they should have shot, found themselves on the wrong side of rebounds, and generally just found all the obstacles that have characterized this season. (Among those obstacles: Injuries. This time it was Cal Clutterbuck who left the game (upper body) after just seven shifts in the first period.)
Brett Gallant's First Fight Was Brief
A fight finished so quickly, you could GIF it:
Not bad for your NHL debut, particularly before you've even accumulated a full minute of ice time. Gallant was also the gentleman, helping Kassian back up and either showing concern or thanking him for obliging, in accordance with the Code of Enforceuabi.
Or is it "The Shining"? I just thought this should be made, but you can caption over here:
Sorry, just felt like we should have some fun. You know that guy on the left is wondering if he left the gate open.