Well, this California road trip has been one to forget. 1 point in 3 games, losses to all three teams on the trip, and 2 goals scored in those 3 games. Almost makes you forget that after the Sharks game we were still talking about a franchise-record point streak. It’s a long season, sure, and it can be easy to get a little complacent. But there are definitely places the roster needs to improve in order to hit the next gear.
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Barry Trotz tried to get a different look to start the game, opting to run the Nelson line first instead of the Cizikas line. That decision seemed to be rewarded as the Isles had more momentum early, and Anze Kopitar went to the box for a penalty. The Islanders’ powerplay was bad, with the most dangerous look coming for the Kings on a Tyler Toffoli breakaway that Semyon Varlamov turned away.
Almost halfway through the period, the Isles broke through, with Derick Brassard tipping a Scott Mayfield shot for the first goal of the game and their first first period lead in a while.
A little slow mo look at Brassard’s ! pic.twitter.com/WT3NpsqQxr— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 28, 2019
However, just a minute later, Dustin Brown would tie the game on a sharp angle shot that beat Varlamov. While it was a good shot, it’s the kind that should never be going in, and Varlamov has to be better on those.
A dumb pass by Adam Pelech led to him taking a penalty, and as the Isles killed his penalty, Cal Clutterbuck took another for slashing, which carried over into the second period.
The Clutterbuck penalty was killed early in the second, keeping the score tied.
Mathew Barzal had a few moments of individual brilliance, a highlight being when he picked Kopitar’s pocket to get the puck into the offensive zone and lay off a pass to Ryan Pulock, who unfortunately hit the crossbar. Varlamov made two great stops on Austin Wagner, Barzal had another good chance, and a brief switch to a Lee-Nelson-Eberle line led to the Isles getting extended zone time and drawing another penalty.
This power play was significantly better, Anthony Beauvillier missing an open net as the best chance, but unfortunately no goals were scored. After that, Noah Dobson was unable to handle a pass which led to a turnover, which led to him taking a penalty. Jeff Carter scored on that power play.
Barzal drew a penalty early on, but it was counteracted about halfway through after Josh Bailey carelessly got his stick up high while moving positions on the power play. The Isles kill the abbreviated power play.
Barzal later was speared by Carter in the “midsection” and dropped to the ice. Somehow, Carter was called for slashing and Barzal for embellishment, leading to a 4 on 4. On that, Matthew Roy scored to make it 3-1. Roy’s shot was pretty far out and unscreened, and was a clear shot that Varlamov should have had to keep his team in the game. After that, the Isles seemed deflated, and Alex Iafallo sealed the win for the Kings with an empty net goal.
Next, the Islanders return home to the Barclays Center to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, November 30. An opportunity to start a new win streak against a division rival.