Frans Nielsen returned to Brooklyn and helped the Detroit Red Wings earn two points in overtime against the New York Islanders. Unfortunately, the Isles couldn’t hang on for the shootout so we could all witness the Danish Backhand Of Judgment again, but more unfortunately the Isles couldn’t defeat a bad Red Wings team that played the night before.
Butch Goring joked on the broadcast that the Islanders “love to play those close games, keep fans in their seats” and they certainly stayed in it and kept it exciting, especially with Josh Bailey’s game tying goal late in the third.
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It’s no secret that the Islanders have struggled possession-wise all season, but the first and second period showed strong underlying numbers along with aggressive play as the Isles took an early lead off of Anders Lee’s goal. Cal Clutterbuck made a great pass to find Lee, who took advantage of Petr Mrazek’s over-commitment to the post.
However, despite having good possession stats early in the game, Mike Green tied the game for the Red Wings later on in the first period, and the Islanders could never regain the lead after that. In the second period, Green struck again to give Detroit the lead. Both of Green’s goals were assisted by former Islanders in Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek.
Midway through the first, John Tavares took a high stick from Drew Miller and then, while holding his face, was elbowed by Steve Ott. Travis Hamonic took exception to Ott’s hit and dropped the gloves, leading to a whole mess of penalty minutes split between the three, including a 10-minute misconduct penalty for Hamonic.
According to the box score, Miller got 2 for high stick, Ott 2 for elbow/5 for fight, Hamonic 2+5+10 for instigator/fight/misconduct— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) December 4, 2016
All Tied Up
Early in the third, Johnny Boychuk scored his fourth of the season to tie the game up at 2-2. Cal Clutterbuck had fallen in the crease earlier in the play, and, in Clutterbuck fashion, did everything he possibly could to not only be a distraction, but also to ensure he wouldn’t be called for goaltender interference.
Stop. Drop. And Roll.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 5, 2016
Clutter makes a heads up play on Boychuk's goal. #DETvsNYI #Isles pic.twitter.com/tAFGfRUlmc
Soon after that, it seemed like Mike Green had gotten himself a hat trick, but Jack Capuano and the Islanders’ coaching staff challenged for interference. It was a quick review, and was ruled no goal.
Refs say no goal. Sorry Mike Green. And #Wings fans who just lost their hats. But the #Isles make a good call to challenge. Tie game.— Shannon Hogan (@Shannon_Hogan) December 5, 2016
The back and forth began when Henrik Zetterberg gave the Red Wings the lead again. Anthony Mantha was able to steal the puck from Boychuk and Jonathan Ericsson was able to find a wide-open Zetterberg for an easy goal.
A couple of minutes later, Josh Bailey tipped a John Tavares tip past Mrazek, ensuring the Islanders would earn at least one point tonight.
The game ended quickly off a Danny Dekeyser goal just over a minute into the OT period, after John Tavares took an extended shift and tried to carry the puck in on a 1-on-3 instead of dumping it in for a change. It’s not the first time Tavares has done that, and you get the feeling that he may just be too stubborn to get off the ice, but he can’t be making plays like that with an extra point up for grabs.
The Islanders face their arch-rival, that other team from New York, at the Barclays Center on Tuesday, December 6th. The New York Rangers are 17-8-1 and first in the division, and lead the league with 95 goals and a +30 goal differential. However, anything goes in this rivalry, and to Islanders fans, it’ll be stressful no matter what.
Dad. #IslesFamily pic.twitter.com/58Db2geGqK— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 4, 2016