The New York Islanders started off their four-game road trip on the wrong foot, falling 5-0 to a Nashville Predators team that really needed the points and arguably played their “best game of the season,” according to the hometown announcing crew.
Thomas Greiss was pulled 13:33 into the first period after giving up three goals on eight shots. With Semyon Varlamov taking over in the Islanders net, Craig Smith completed his first career hat trick to make it 5-0 in the second period. Juuse Saros made 31 saves for the shutout, including 14 saves in the tone-setting first period.
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Last meeting, the Islanders torched Pekka Rinne early before falling apart. This time, Saros allowed no such fun.
This is one of those games that got out of hand early, so there’s not much to learn from it. The Predators really needed a win, and for the second time this season they got that and then plenty of insurance goals at the Islanders’ expense.
After it was 3-0 — and the Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey - Anthony Beauvillier combo was unfortunately on for all three — there were only brief moments where you could talk yourself into thinking maybe an inspiring comeback could still be in the cards. But Rocco Grimaldi made it 4-0 just 4:41 into the second period and at that point it all felt academic.
Entering the third with a 5-0 lead, the Predators locked it down.
There’s really not much else to say.
Next stop on the road trip is Vegas on Saturday.