The Dallas Stars played a great first two periods and were rewarded for their effort with three goals from broken plays after the Islanders were sloppy in their own zone. In the third, the Isles got it together, but couldn’t break Ben Bishop until Mathew Barzal scored with five minutes left. Despite the Isles continuing to push, it wasn’t enough to quickly get two more goals, and the Islanders frustratingly lost to Dallas 3-1.
At the start of the first period, it was the Islanders who were controlling most of the play, drawing an early power play when Jamie Oleksiak was called for high sticking Ross Johnston. The Isles had a lot of zone time but ultimately couldn’t convert, and the game opened up into a more back and forth affair after that.
The Stars opened the scoring after winning a faceoff in the Islanders zone and getting the puck to Miro Heiskanen, who was able to dish it off to Oleksiak who found Andrew Cogliano streaking to the net. The puck went in off of Cogliano’s skate, and there was a thought that the Islanders might challenge, but it was very clear that it wasn’t kicked into the net and instead just deflected, giving Dallas their 1-0 lead.
Barzal took a high sticking penalty when he clipped Oleksiak, and Alexander Radulov scored on the Stars’ power play, giving them a 2-0 lead. The Islanders were fortunate to not be down by more, as Thomas Greiss turned away the other 14 of 16 shots Dallas took that period.
Barzal took another penalty, this time for tripping, less than two minutes into the second period. On that power play, the Isles had a couple of shorthanded chances when Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas got in on Ben Bishop, but neither could break through. Denis Gurianov then scored for Dallas on the man advantage.
Down 3-0, the Islanders started to apply some pressure, although Dallas still had one of the better opportunities when Gurianov was on a partial breakaway but sent his shot wide. The Isles just struggled to get any really good looks on Ben Bishop throughout the game.
In the third, it seemed like Ross Johnston came in with a mission to stir up the team, as he got away with a slash on Ben Bishop and then appeared to challenge Jamie Benn, though Benn wasn’t interested in anything other than having some words. Some good attempts got through as the Isles played more desperately down 3-0, with Brock Nelson and Scott Mayfield getting some noticeable opportunities.
The Islanders finally broke through when Devon Toews shot the puck and Barzal scored on a tip-in, putting the Isles within two goals with under five minutes remaining. Trotz then pulled Greiss for the extra skater, and although the Isles held some good zone time, they were unable to score, losing 3-1 in Dallas. More concerning in the long run, however, was that Nick Leddy appeared to hurt his knee after getting tied up with Esa Lindell during the 6 on 5. Hoping that he’s alright!
- Both Ben Bishop and Thomas Greiss were great tonight, but Dallas’ defense played a whole lot better than the Islanders’. The sloppiness with penalties and in the defensive zone in general was the big difference maker in the game.
- Please stop taking dumb penalties Barzy we need you on the ice.
- How quickly can we get better players for the middle six so that we don’t have to see Komarov ever again???
Next, the Islanders head to Tampa to take on the Lightning on Monday, December 9. Though they’ve got all the same talent as last year’s totally dominant team, they’ve been inconsistent this year and sit at just 14-10-3. It’ll be another big challenge for the defensive-minded Islanders against an offensively gifted team.