On Dec. 1, 2017, the New York Islanders suffered their first home regulation loss of the 2017-18 season.
It came in a game that has typified the “suddenly we enforce the slashing rule too” nature of the NHL’s 2017-18 season: a back-and-forth, high-flying 6-5 loss to the Ottawa Senators, with both teams yanking their starting goalies in a game that saw 10 goals in the first 32 minutes.
For the Isles, it ends a four-game winning streak and puts the first fully pointless blemish on their home record this season. For Ottawa, it ends a seven-game losing streak and provides some vengeance for a loss to the Isles last weekend in Canada’s capital.
The Islanders fell behind 2-0 early in the first period, but chipped their way back with goals by Anthony Beauvillier — on a nice feed from Jason Chimera, who later finally scored his first of the season -- and Anders Lee. A late first-period power play gave the Isles several good looks to attempt their first lead of the game, but instead Bobby Ryan’s skate gave the Sens a 3-2 lead heading into the first intermission.
Lee tied it back up early in the second period with his second of the game and 15th of the season, again simply overpowering opposing defensemen who dared to enter his office.
Andrew Ladd’s seventh of the season just over a minute later seemed to portend good things as it gave the Isles the lead for the first time. But the teams traded goals again — Chimera’s breakaway goal coming 14 seconds after Thomas Chabot’s tying goal and three minutes before Mike Hoffman’s goal, also an equalizer.
Chimera’s had a miserable season so far, but that look of relief after finally scoring again:
Alas Ryan Dzingel, who opened scoring on a heads-up counterattack breakaway goal in the first period, gave the Senators the lead again just 1:38 into the third period. Almost surprisingly and against type, that held up as the final goal of the game, good enough for a 6-5 win.
With the goalie pulled in the final 90 seconds, the Islanders created several chances with sustained pressure in the Senators zone. But shots went wide, were blocked or were stopped by Condon, including a great last save on a Jordan Eberle one-timer as the final horn blew.
Doug Weight: "Everything was going in. I almost felt bad for both goalies. For whatever reason we kind of got back into it, but then we made some really poor decisions at the offensive line. It stings but it's a good learning tool." #Isles #OTTvsNYI pic.twitter.com/P7JtHZZF5g— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 2, 2017
Because hockey numbers are unfair, Jaroslav Halak gets the “loss” despite stopping 14 of 15 shots after reliving Thomas Greiss back when the score was still 5-5. Mike Condon stopped all 19 shots in his relief of Craig Anderson.
Continuing a fairly frequent third pairing rotation, the Islanders had Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield were back in the lineup for Thomas Hickey and Dennis Seidenberg.
Next they begin a run of four away from Brooklyn, including their second Florida swing of the season starting Monday in Sunrise.