I gotta tell ya, folks. This wasn’t a win that I expected. With Greiss in net and playing the Hurricanes on a back-to-back, it had all the fixings of a disaster. Turns out it was they who were rocked, much like a hurricane.
Ho hum: another first period, another twenty shots-on-goal surrendered. Normally, with Thomas Greiss in net, that could’ve meant three or four goals against. But the German was feeling it early on, though the Hurricanes weren’t exactly threatening.
For their credit, the Islanders threw ten of their own shots-on-goal, also of the largely harmless variety. What I’m saying, is the first period was a bit of a snoozer.
The sleepy state of the game wasn’t shocking by any measure; both of these teams played in the New York area the night before and had to travel to Raleigh overnight.
The Islanders finally broke through to the other side of the scoresheet when a puck deep in the Carolina zone was battled for and chipped back by Ross Johnston to Brock Nelson, and he sent it to Johnny Boychuk, loaded up and ready to fire the slapper. Cam Ward didn’t even set up for the laser.
Anxiety ticked upward when a puck was snapped by Jeff Skinner over Greiss to seemingly tie the game. But Matt Bertani’s offsides senses were tingling, and one Doug Weight challenge later, the score was restored to its stark 1-0.
Wanting to spice up everyone’s evening, Anthony Beauvillier broke lose from his own zone and powered his way past both Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin to slide the puck under Ward to give the Isles some insurance. John Tavares added an empty net penalty shot auto-goal for back-to-back 3-0 wins.
Not too many conclusions to be drawn from a game where both teams were shot, but this was a massive regulation win against the team they’re chasing for the last playoff spot. Also, good for Thomas Greiss to rebound majorly with a shutout of his own.
The Isles have the rest of the weekend off before Monday’s matinee in Brooklyn. The Wild will be the visitors on Superheroes Day, a day of superheroes.