The Carolina Hurricanes absolutely shut down the New York Islanders with a 3-0 win in Elmont, steadily building a lead and keeping the Islanders from sniffing much of anything after the first period. The Isles managed just 16 total shots on goal, seven of those in the first period, making for a breezy shutout for Pyotr Kochetkov.
On the night where the Islanders wore a fisherman logo for the first time in a generation, they picked up right where they left it in 1997.
So in an up and down season, they follow up Friday’s impressive win over the Devils with a pretty lifeless effort the next night. The Hurricanes, well rested and waiting for the Isles, certainly played a big part in that. The visitors seemed to know exactly how to approach the Isles to make them fight for every inch, force lots of long routes back to retrieve pucks, and generally wear them down.
I’d not be surprised to hear this was the deadest game UBS Arena has seen. It wasn’t just the score — which was close for 40 minutes — but the way the Hurricanes allowed the Isles almost zero threats. The home team did face a round of boos from the crowd in the final few seconds.
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The first period, with teach team whiffing on two power plays, was a little disjointed but fairly even play. Though the Islanders didn’t look like they were about to repeat Friday night in Newark, they were in the game and made to the first intermission tied 0-0.
The second was considerably different, but despite being completely shut down the Isles reached the third period only trailing by a goal. Paul Stastny finished a quick 2-on-1 down low at 7:06 of the second after Alex Romanov got caught chasing high in the zone. Oliver Wahlstrom, on a setup from Mathew Barzal, had one of the few somewhat notable chances the Isles mustered, but his one-timer misfired.
Still, with the Isles trailing only 1-0 heading into the third, there was the outside hope that this often third-period-dominant team might turn it up for 20 minutes and take a point or two.
It was not to be, and that hope was extinguished quickly.
A point shot by Brent Burns hit an Islander up high, then was deflected downward by Jesperi Kotkanaemi, bouncing past Ilya Sorokin to make it 2-0 at 4:05 of the third.
Jordan Staal added another four minutes later, as the Canes simply outworked the Isles down low and behind the net, with Noah Dobson, Sebastian Aho and Anders Lee all chasing and late to get to their men.
The Isles had a semi line shuffle in the third as Hudson Fasching moved to Cal Clutterbuck’s spot on the Identity Line, and he did some nice work down low on at least one shift. Also, Scott Mayfield took a scary puck to the base of the neck, but was able to continue after dropping to the ise. This is what passed for positive or at least non-disastrous notes, if you’re grasping for anything to take away from this game.
But really there’s nothing. Burn the tape.
If the Isles were spent after a hectic game in Newark, they’ll have some time to rest before their next tough test, on the road in Boston on Tuesday.