What a bizarre thing all that was.
The regulation loss ended a 13-game points streak at home.
It wasn’t exactly a terrible game throughout, however, and the above is deceptive in that the Islanders were hardly cruising when things turned in a hurry. But they were outshooting and outchancing the Predators when Nashville’s shots just started going in left and right (and up, and down, and...).
Rather, it was a back-and-forth and fairly even first 30 minutes, marked by a burst of goals from both sides. Starting goalie Thomas Greiss did not have a good night, but his opposite, Pekka Rinne, was scorched for three consecutive blocker-side goals in a five-minute span early in the middle period.
But 27 seconds after Casey Cizikas’ shorthanded goal made it 3-1 for the Islanders, Filip Forsberg scored on that same power play to bring Nashville back to within one. Craig Smith tied it two minutes later with his second of the night.
Then the real shock came when the Predators took the lead and added an insurance goal in the final 96 seconds of the period.
The third period is best not spoken of, as it saw more of the same — with Semyon Varlamov the victim of the final three goals instead of Greiss — plus some shenanigans from Scott Mayfield and Ross Johnston with Smith.
It was the first time under Barry Trotz that the Isles had allowed so many goals. It was truly bizarre to see. Trotz might reference the “details” here and there, but it was such an uncharacteristic and also unfortunate night, that there may not be much to learn from it beyond that sometimes these things happen.
Thus Spaketh Trotz
“We couldn’t get a stop. Our goalies have bailed us out so many times this season, unfortunately we couldn’t bail them out.”
“We didn’t give up that many chances. There’s been times we’ve given up more chances in a period than we did in that game, they just didn’t go in.”
The best part of tonight's game was everyone's astonishment of the score. Final #Isles Metrics via NST— Carey Haber (@habermetrics) December 18, 2019
5v5 Score Adj.
31.28% High Danger
44.23% Exp. Goals
36.36% High Danger
43.83% Exp Goals
All of NSH's goal from the same area. pic.twitter.com/xRbiRPBl8g
Really nice touch by #Isles fans, chanting "Let's Go Islanders" in final minute of a blowout loss. Shows they appreciate what's going on with their team. Stick taps— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 18, 2019
8-3 final to Preds
- Brock Nelson had a nice game, or nice first half of the game, including his two-on-one goal early in the second period to tie it at 1-1.
- Nick Leddy returned from injury in place of Noah Dobson and logged 19:31. He disrupted a Predators breakaway opportunity just before Nelson’s goal. He and Devon Toews were also each a bit too casual on a Predators forecheck leading to Smith’s tying goal.
- Derick Brassard broke a slump with a really nice snipe on the power play, from the right wing faceoff circle, as all three Islanders goals were.