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Predators 3*, Islanders 2 (*SO): Isles leave Nashville with a point in scrappy road game

A point on the road is good, but some uncharacteristic sloppy play at even strength meant the Isles squandered a chance at two.

NHL: New York Islanders at Nashville Predators
But how about the snipe from Ollie?
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This one will feel like a disappointment against a team the Islanders could use the points from. At even strength, the Isles struggled to get dangerous chances, registering just two high danger chances all game. It was the power play that came up big, with Anthony Beauvillier and Oliver Wahlstrom scoring on the man advantage, while Tanner Jeannot scored twice for the Predators off some friendly bounces.

The shootout loss puts the Islanders at a 5 game point streak as the team heads into the second half of this extended road trip to start the season.

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First Period

The Islanders had good pressure early, but would head to the penalty kill after Zdeno Chara and Filip Forsberg got into it in front of the Islanders’ net after the whistle. Despite Forsberg throwing the first gloved punch, Chara’s retaliation was a bit more noticeable (a downside of being 6’9”) and so only Chara was called for roughing.

Ilya Sorokin made three big saves on the penalty kill to keep the score at 0-0.

At the other end of the ice, some real chippiness to the game started to brew after Casey Cizikas and Matt Benning both were called for roughing, and while the Islanders were better on the 4 on 4, the game was still tied at 0.

Sorokin made a big save on Forsberg in front of the net, and Saros stopped a Nelson shot off a 2 on 1, where Nelson elected not to pass it off to Beauvillier.

Ryan Johansen went to the box for holding the stick, and Mat Barzal got the puck to Josh Bailey, who made a cross-ice pass to Beauvillier who scored to make it 1-0, one of the best power play sequences from the Islanders in a long time.

Yakov Trenin went to the box for interference after he hit Scott Mayfield after the puck had already left his stick. That power play didn’t accomplish much, and a turnover sent Luke Kunin on a breakaway that Noah Dobson broke up by taking a holding the stick penalty of his own. That penalty came in the last few seconds of the first, so would mostly be served during the second period.

Second Period

Sorokin made a few saves to keep the Islanders’ lead as the penalty was killed. But about 7 minutes in, Tanner Jeannot would score his first of the game, a shot that bounced off Sorokin and into the net. It was a double screen off a weird angle and Sorokin got a piece of it, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough to keep it out.

Later, after some pressure from Nashville, Beauvillier chipped a pass to himself to exit the zone, the Isles generated some good zone time out of that, and the fourth line drew a penalty.

Towards the tail-end of that power play, Brock Nelson made a cross-ice pass to Oliver Wahlstrom, who sent a laser of a wrist shot into the toy department.

Kyle Palmieri was called for a slashing penalty, and the Islanders killed that, and Palmieri nearly got one as he got out of the box, but was stopped by Saros.

A big save by Sorokin and a block by Mayfield were needed to keep the 2-1 lead at the end of the second.

Third Period

Beauvillier threw a hit and went to the boards awkwardly, he went right to the bench but was out for later shifts so everything seemed to be okay.

Matt Martin blocked a shot and limped off the ice, but he was also back for later shifts and should be okay as well.

Ryan Pulock gave the puck away at center ice, leading to a Nashville 2 on 0 where Sorokin made a big save on Forsberg to keep it at 2-1.

The Isles went to the PK as Chara was again called for roughing, and they killed that penalty too.

Tanner Jeannot scored his second of the game to tie it shortly after the power play expired, as a shot out wide from Matt Benning hit him in the knee and deflected into the goal. That goal followed sloppy play from the Islanders as Chara may have broken a stick and then struggled to get a replacement from a forward, which left them all out of position. Again, downsides of being 6’9”, but also probably not the smartest play from the vet or from the rest of the forwards on the ice.

The Islanders went to the power play again after Carrier’s heavy hit on Wahlstrom was called for interference, and shots from Palmieri and Nelson were saved by Saros. After a nervy end to the third period, the game would go to OT.

Overtime

The Islanders, normally strong at 3 on 3, have struggled lately, and Nashville had the better looks as Sorokin was called upon a few times to make key saves to keep the game alive.

Mat Barzal had a good opportunity at the end of OT that was broken up by a Carrier hooking penalty, but since OT was about to expire, there was basically no actual penalty given.

Shootout

Neither Oliver Wahlstrom nor Anthony Beauvillier could score their attempts, and Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi scored theirs, giving the Predators the two points and the SO win.

Quick Thoughts

  • They have to change the OT penalty rules, as the last few seconds of OT is basically just free reign to take penalties, and in 3 on 3 it makes a huge difference. The most reasonable rule change that shouldn’t bother the NHLPA is to exclude the penalty taker from the shootout, which may not matter all the time but at least will give some guys pause. There are other options there, too, but this seems like the most reasonable.
  • Losing two puck moving defensemen in back to back seasons does have a cost:
  • You know it’s bad when a good game for Zdeno Chara includes one where he takes two penalties and poor play of his leads in part to a goal against. Please give someone else a shot there, and please put Pelech and Pulock, arguably the best defensive pair in hockey, back together.

Up Next

Next, another 5 day break, before heading to Montreal on November 4th to take on the struggling Stanley Cup finalist Canadiens. As of writing, Montreal is 2-6-0 this season, last in the Atlantic Division with a -10 goal differential. Two points would be nice there!