The Islanders were riding a 17-game point streak, but it would come to a halt late Monday night in Anaheim, as they would be shutout for the first time this season.
The Islanders came out flying in the first period, storming the Ducks with 16 shots on goal. Jordan Eberle nearly pushed in an Anders Lee rebound to record his first of the season, and it seemed Lee, too, was determined to break his drought.
But Anaheim netminder John Gibson was there to stop he saw in the first twenty minutes. It didn’t help that they were unable to work the puck to the middle of the zone and instead had to rely primarily on point shots.
Thomas Greiss only saw five shots in the first, but he turned them all away.
The Ducks came in on a losing streak, including a Florida trip in which they blew a big lead against the Panthers to lose and then go blown out by the Lightning. Captain Ryan Getzlaf said his team “quit” after falling behind in that loss in Tampa Bay. After the first period, he couldn’t have been happy with his team’s play, but they responded in the second.
This time, it was the Ducks that controlled play, and they were getting to all the high-danger areas. Ironically enough, though, the only goal they scored in this period was an own goal from Eberle, credited to Ryan Getzlaf as the last Duck to touch it.
This period, Anaheim played some Trotzian hockey to lock it down, though the Islanders had some offensive zone time. They just couldn’t get any significant chances down low, relying, again, on shots from the point that Gibson corralled rather easily.
To solidify the result late in the third, Getzlaf worked around Ryan Pulock to the crease and sent a beautiful centering feed to Cam Fowler, who didn’t miss. Shortly thereafter, Ondrej Kase sent a knuckling howler past Greiss, one he’d surely like to have back.
Like the broadcast crew said, Barry Trotz didn’t even pull Greiss for the extra attacker at the end of the game. The Islanders didn’t record a shot on goal after the second Ducks goal, and the point streak was snapped.
If there's any alarm bell to sound, it's that the team has not won in regulation in 5 games. Other than that, it was a stinker.— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) November 26, 2019
Final 5v5 Score-Adjusted via NST
Isles 57.95% Attempts
Isles 44.58% High Danger (5.26 - 6.54)
Isles 41.98% Expected Goals (1.31 - 1.81) pic.twitter.com/hoSRuHt3IQ
#NYIvsANA Expected Goals by Model— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) November 26, 2019
Isles - Ducks (Model)
1.05 - 1.68 (MoneyPuck)
1.31 - 1.81 (NST)
1.21 - 1.67 (EvolvingHockey)
AVG: 1.19 - 1.72 (ANA 59.11%)
Ducks were the better team, clearly.
All of the other stuff will be up in the morning. It's late... good night.
- Well, it’s over. It had to end at some point, and it was a franchise record that comprised almost entirely of wins (15-0-2) when all was said and done. We can’t be too mad about that. 45 days! They last lost October 11 to the Hurricanes, their fourth game of the season. Impressive run, and nothing to not be proud of here. Not to mention, this was only the first time all season they got blanked. The Islanders deserve a ton of credit for this run to open the season. But they know they’ve only just begun.
- They went balls-to-the-wall in the first period and came away empty-handed, which seemed to foreshadow the result. But, it also seemed to leave them gassed. You have to wonder if this streak took a little out of them and they’re not relieved it’s over. Not to say they played to end it, but a streak like this can add some unnecessary pressure to an otherwise ordinary regular season game, and over 17 games, it can add up.
- But there were, as Trotz said, a few passengers out there. He also said, and I’m paraphrasing, they needed to play hungry and they were full. He also said it while displaying disappointment, which kind of reinforced the humor.
- Credit to John Gibson. He didn’t have to work too hard to get the shutout tonight, but your goalie has to be able to make all the easy saves, too, and he did just that. Credit to Ryan Getzlaf, as well, for calling his team out and then leading by example.
The Islanders finish up their California trip in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Eve. It’s a 10:30 p.m. ET start on Wednesday night against the Kings. Only one more night of this sleep deprivation, and you can sleep in the next day.