Well, that was very different from the game against the Rangers. After a strong 19 minutes of play in the first period, where the Isles dominated the Blues, had plenty of looks on goal, scored twice (including on the power play!), they allowed Brayden Schenn to cut that two goal lead to just one in the final minute. That final minute, which also featured a lazy clear by Brock Nelson that got him called for delay of game, was unfortunately not an outlier, but instead basically the way the Isles would play the next two periods. Newcomer Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring with his first power play goal as an Islander, and Jordan Eberle extended the Isles lead, but the Isles didn’t deserve the two points tonight, and didn’t get them, either.
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At least this one was fun, as Jaden Schwartz taking a delay of game penalty for sending the puck out of play led to Pageau’s first power play goal as an Islander. Devon Toews gave the puck off to Mat Barzal, who found Pageau, who scored from a spot where the Isles have definitely lacked firepower.
The Barzal line had a monster first period, and Jordan Eberle’s goal was set up by a good pass from Barzal to Anders Lee, who made a fantastic backhand pass to a wide open Eberle who backhanded it past Jordan Binnington with under five minutes left.
Unfortunately, that was basically the end of the good parts of the game, as a poor Johnny Boychuk decision at the red line resulted in the Blues getting the puck, and Brayden Schenn cut the lead to one goal. Brock Nelson then was lazy in clearing the zone, giving the Blues a power play at the very end of the period after he sent the puck over the glass.
The Islanders’ best chance of the second period came off an Anthony Beauvillier shorthanded break, but he shot it high on the backhand. The Isles killed the penalty, and later Ivan Barbashev had a great chance but just hesitated enough for the Isles to get back. Scott Mayfield also made a great defensive play, hustling to get back on a Blues 3 on 1, and he was able to cut off a pass to give the Isles back possession of the puck.
There was a scary moment when JG Pageau was hit in the hand by a Scott Mayfield shot and went to the locker room, but seemed to be alright. His minutes were limited until later in the game though, so he may have still been feeling it during the rest of the second period.
Thomas Greiss was key this period, as he made 10 saves to preserve the one goal lead, while the Islanders only shot the puck on goal one time, a Ross Johnston wrap around attempt.
Robert Thomas nearly ties the game for the Blues, but shoots across the goal mouth instead of into the net. Eberle also missed a near tap in, Greiss made some big saves, and halfway through the third, the Isles had only taken 3 shots since the start of the second.
The Isles got bailed out by a hand pass by Blues, and then by Vince Dunn taking a blatant interference penalty, taking down Ryan Pulock away from the puck.
Unfortunately on the power play, Pulock hit Lee with a shot that sent him to the ice, and when the puck came back to him, Lee was still down in the slot, so he couldn’t let it go again despite being in good position to do so.
With under two minutes to go, Dunn tied the game after Nick Leddy failed to clear the puck all the way off the blueline, Pulock got beat, and no one really covered Dunn as he was able to get the puck and shoot. And so, off to OT.
The Isles held the puck for most of overtime, with Pageau and Bailey getting sent out first instead of Beauvillier and Nelson. Unfortunately, Beau and Nelson would be on for the opposing team’s game winner once again, as this time Devon Toews passed the puck to Beau, who missed it, got beat by Parayko, was able to catch up to slow him down a little, and then a miscommunication in the defensive zone led to neither Toews nor Beauvillier really committing to Parayko, whose wraparound attempt went off Beau’s stick past Greiss to give the Blues the win. The Isles were able to at least get a point after their low effort second and third period, but the Metro is getting tougher by the day and two points would’ve left them tied with the Flyers.
Next, the Isles go back to the Coliseum for a late morning/early afternoon game against the Boston Bruins for Butch Goring’s jersey retirement. Number 91 is going into the rafters, but the competition will be a little bit steeper than when the Red Wings came into town for Tonelli’s jersey retirement.