Hope everyone got home safe and relatively quickly; my drive home, normally about an hour during rush hour, was three times longer than normal. Despite leaving work at 4:00, I got home just in time for the game. And for beer! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it snow this much on November 15th on Long Island.
Down by 2 in Less Than Seven Minutes
Despite a couple of effective early shifts, the Isles fell behind 2-0 before the halfway point of the first period. The Rangers got a power play and Gigantic, Sweaty, and Gaping Asshole Chris Kreider parked his uniquely big and fast ass in front of the net and picked up a rebound to give the Manhattanites a 1-0 lead.
Then, Fredrik Claesson, unwisely unqualified by the Senators as an RFA, scored his first goal in over a calendar year on a rip off the rush that Thomas Greiss would probably like to have back. The game had that uncomfortable feeling of “ah shit, don’t give Henrik Lundqvist a 2-0 lead that early.” But, with a little luck, that wall was penetrated shortly thereafter.
Tying it Back Up Just After the Half of the First
Anthony Beauvillier saw his role increase with the myriad of players placed on IR before the game, and he didn’t let Barry Trotz down. His first goal tonight was a tip-in off a shot from Thomas Hickey. And he wasn’t done.
In the meantime, though, Brock Nelson got a tip-in of his own only a minute and a half later, by way of a Nick Leddy shot. Leddy, like Beauvillier, had a much-needed big game.
Trading Goals to Maintain the Tie
The Islanders got their first lead of the night after Leo Komarov forced a turnover that was picked up by Valtteri Filppula, who found Beauvillier waiting at the Rangers blue line. He was able to beat Lundqvist short side on the only direct shot to beat the legendary Swedish netminder that will never win a Stanley Cup.
The Rangers were quick to even the score at 3-3 when Kevin Hayes scored an unassisted tally while shorthanded.
Beauvillier Tips His Cap, Captain Adds On
The Islanders took the lead for the balance of the game five minutes into the second and in the process, Beauvillier recorded his first career hat trick. The Islanders were on the power play and the new second unit got on the board tonight after Johnny Boychuk sent a patented slapper from the side wall toward the crease that was perfectly deflected by Beauvillier. The three goals were points no. 2, 3, and 4 on the season for the young Quebecois.
Anders Lee got a tip-in of his own on the power play later in the second and it was accompanied by a very emphatic celebration.
The Third Remains Exciting
To start the third, Lundqvist was on the bench and Alexandar Georgiev was in net, perhaps to spark their team. The beginning of the final frame was relatively boring, but Komarov, who bled like a sieve in the first period to give the Islanders a double-minor power play even though it was Filppula’s stick that caught him, got a tip-in goal to join in on the fun from a nice play set up by Beauvillier and Filppula.
The Rangers trailed 6-3 but badly outshot the Islanders most of the game, and then the shots started to drop. Kreider got another one, this one a shot from the slot, and his celebration this time was a bit more subdued. Now down 6-4, they pulled Georgiev with three minutes remaining, and Filip Chytil brought the Rangers within one.
Tensions definitely kicked up a notch, especially with the Islanders struggling to get out of their own zone. But they finally sealed the deal with about 20 seconds left as Cal Clutterbuck snagged an empty-netter.
Thoughts and Such
Overall, a lucky win for the Islanders, but it still counts as two points for us and none for them. And, miraculously, the Rangers remain winless in Brooklyn.
Good for Beauvillier to get off the schneid again. We’ll see if it is part of a breakthrough. Same with Leddy, who looked decent on both ends of the ice.
The 10-6-2 Islanders, two points back of the Blue Jackets with a game in hand for first in the Metropolitan Division, do not play again until 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon when the Dallas Stars come to Barclays Center.