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Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3: Only ten games ‘til we’re free

The Isles currently lay equidistant from the last wild card spot and the bottom of the conference. If you’re curious: it’s twelve points both ways.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders
I’m so glad there’s a picture of these two battling each other.
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams that specialize in doing everything they can to make their fans hate them and their own selves squared off in NHL Game Number 1111, right in the middle of Sunday dinner, presumably so fans on both sides have a reason not to watch.

[Game Sum | Event Sum | Corsica | Natural Stat Trick | HockeyViz]

First Period

In the spirit of frustration, the Islanders gave up the first goal of the game only three minutes in, when Islander-killer Jaccob Slavin sent a shot that went in off Adam Pelech.

Before the game was five minutes old, Lee Stempniak had the Hurricanes up 2-0 on an absolute howler on the part of Jaroslav Halak.

Second Period

The teams kinda went back and forth in the second. Josh Bailey tipped a sizzler from Ryan Pulock, who received the puck at the point after a John Tavares half-slapper bounced off Scott Darling.

Less than two minutes later, the Islanders tied the game on a power play goal from Anders Lee.

The first tie was brief, though. Victor Rask, who delivered a punishing if accidental hip check to Cal Clutterbuck earlier in the game, put the ‘Canes back on top within a few minutes with a rebound tap-in.

Third Period

Carolina opened the period with a 3-2 lead, but Lee deflected a shot-pass from Bailey around eight minutes in to give him his 35th goal of the season, a new career-high for him; it was also the third assist of the night for the captain.

This tie, like its predecessor, was also short-lived. The Islanders got four guys back to defend off the rush, but everyone forgot about Trevor van Riemsdyk (including Brendan Burke, who called him ‘James’). He was able to slide right into the middle of the ice and fire off a full slap shot that dinged the post before rippling the back of the net.

New York made it a little interesting in the final few minutes. The teams skated four aside (five-on-four when the Islanders pulled Halak) pretty much to end the game - Tavares was body-slammed by Brett Pesce but somehow also received a phantom slashing penalty - and their night ended in regulation.

Thoughts/Up Next

The third featured a hooking penalty on Sebastian Aho, against Sebastian Aho. (*brain explodes*)

Big loss against a team with an almost identical record coming in. The Flames were blown out by “Wild Bill” William Karlsson and the Golden Knights, making it much more likely the Islanders will have two chances at a lottery pick. The future is looking bright. (*vomits up profusely the flank steak I cooked a little well while watching the game, thus ruining Sunday dinner*)