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Sharks 2, Islanders 1 (OT): No overtime magic tonight

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But the Islanders played their best game in a while and still extended the point streak.

New York Islanders v San Jose Sharks
Meh, they played well enough to win.
Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images

The Islanders and the Sharks did battle as both teams came in hot. The Sharks had won seven of their last eight games; the Islanders, of course, sought to extend their franchise-record point streak to seventeen games.

The Sharks flew out of the gate, buoyed by an early man advantage, and took the only lead of the game. It would last just 27 seconds before a fluky Casey Cizikas redirection knotted it back up.

The Islanders controlled the game in the second and third periods, but both Martin Jones and Semyon Varlamov stopped most of what they saw. The score remained 1-1 going into overtime, and the Islanders extended their point streak, but the Sharks earned the extra point.

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First Period: Whoa, Slow It Down

Adam Pelech took a tripping penalty in the first minute of the game and the Sharks went to work on the power play. They threatened most of the power play, firing a few shots at Semyon Varlamov. He kept everything out of the net, even as the power play ended and San Jose maintained its momentum. The Islanders didn’t register a shot on goal until around the first commercial break.

Some of their first offensive zone time allowed Michael Dal Colle to try a penalty. The ensuing Islanders power play set up some nice plays against the league’s top penalty kill, including a confusing moment where it appeared Mathew Barzal scored off a rush, but it actually just struck the cross-bar, but couldn’t pot one. It did wake the Islanders up, however, and they began to press a little more.

Varlamov stopped all thirteen shots he faced, and Martin Jones stopped the seven he saw to send us to the first intermission scoreless.

Second Period: No Leads Allowed

Following a fight between Casey Cizikas and Brendan Dillon, the even play between the two teams continued to start the second period. But, the Sharks drew blood first.

Otto Koivula sprung Brock Nelson on a clean breakaway, but Nelson wasn’t able to slide it through Jones’s five-hole. The Islanders tried to set up another play, but Ryan Pulock’s shot sailed wide. The Sharks recovered the puck and went the other way. Pelech and Josh Bailey got tangled up, allowing Marcus Sorenson to get a step on them and start a two-on-one against Pulock. Timo Meier, his running mate, sent a perfect pass to Sorenson, who tipped it past Varlamov.

The San Jose lead lasted only 27 seconds, though. Pulock came away from that goal invigorated and carried from his own blue-line all the way to the Sharks goal line. He threw the puck cross-ice and it careened off the opposite half wall to Pelech, who fired a one-timer. The floater was redirected by Cizikas, but Sharks coach Peter DeBoer challenged the goal for goaltender interference, for some odd reason.

Quick review allowed the goal to stand, and the Islanders were awarded a power play. The Islanders took control of the on-ice play after the goal and power play. They would be granted two more before the end of the period. But the Sharks’ league-leading penalty kill lived up to its billing.

Third Period: Jones Saves the Sharks

The Islanders continued to dominate during the third period and were all over the Sharks, but a couple of near-misses and a couple more power plays they didn’t convert left the game tied and the teams went to overtime.

Jones was stellar through the second half of the game—the Islanders had plenty of high danger chances that they couldn’t convert and Jones was the main reason for that. To his credit, though, Varlamov had to make some big saves and he delivered.

Overtime: Comes Down to One Play

Overtime started off slow, with the Islanders controlling the puck early on and not allowing the Sharks to get off the ice. It didn’t translate into goals, though, and San Jose recovered to play the same game. They, too, weren’t able to score on their possession.

The puck was bouncing around in the Islanders’ zone for a bit and Jordan Eberle was out-muscled to the puck by Evander Kane. He turned around and found Logan Couture coming down the wing, and he rifled a one-timer past Varlamov to give the Sharks the extra point.

Thoughts

  • Otto Koivula received praise from Barry Trotz before the game (more on that in Bits), and he saw some ice time at critical points of the game. He had a couple good chances and got his first NHL shot tonight. Might he be sticking around?
  • Dal Colle, to my eye, played an excellent game. He was all over the puck and he combines well with Koivula and Josh Bailey. He wins battles and grabs loose pucks, and he drew a penalty by keeping his feet moving.
  • Barzal was all over the ice tonight, and his linemates had great chances, but Anders Lee and Eberle remain snakebitten.
  • Varlamov was very solid tonight. He held the Islanders in the game against San Jose’s early barrage and withstood everything else they threw at him until overtime, and it was a good one-timer that beat him. Can’t blame him on that one.
  • Losing’s no fun, but they can’t win them all. They played well tonight, better than they have in their last few wins. And hey, the point streak lives on. Still haven’t lost in regulation since the fourth game of the season. Monday night in Anaheim will be their 22nd.

Up Next

The California trip continues for the Islanders. Now, they fly south to play the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night (10:00 p.m. ET) and the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night (10:30 p.m. ET).