Beginning a five-game trip that starts on the east coast before heading out to America’s Four Corners and returning to Manhattan, the New York Islanders needed to get off on the right foot.
But they started this expedition against the team on top of the league standings entering play last night, the Boston Bruins, who have yet to lose in regulation at home. The Islanders fell behind twice but still managed to take away a point. If the goal of this trip is .500—and given the opponents, that should be the goal—they’re right on track.
Around the division and conference, it wasn’t the best night of results for the Islanders, but they woke up this morning in the first wild-card spot because they have more regulation wins than the Rangers. Both teams sit only one point ahead of the Capitals, who have turned it on lately to get back in the race.
About last night:
- It’s hard to even get a point out of Boston, so the Isles should take solace in that, especially considering that injuries forced Cal Clutterbuck to the second line. [LHH]
#Isles in warmups— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 13, 2022
- After being listed as game-time decisions in the morning, Kyle Palmieri and Anthony Beauvillier missed the game anyway. [Newsday]
- Mathew Barzal, who scored the Isles’ lone shootout goal, called it a “huge point” from a game that had “playoff” vibes. [Islanders]
- They came back twice and generally hung in there with the Bruins. They even outplayed them for stretches. [Newsday]
- Semyon Varlamov got the start in net; he has played well lately, while Ilya Sorokin has not been at his best. [Newsday]
- That was just the first time all season that Barzal did not record a point in consecutive games. Brock Nelson had an assist, though, so he still has yet to go more than one game without a point this season. Consistency! [NYI Skinny]
Not just recaps:
- Oliver Wahlstrom grew up in Maine a big Bruins fan, so he always loves coming back to play in Boston. [amNY]
- The Islanders and Nationwide Mortgage treated children to a holiday event at this past Saturday’s game. The amenities were nice, and the thought is nice, but man, that must have been a tough game for a kids’ event. [Islanders]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Southern California teams each getting waxed in shutout road losses to teams in the Buffalo-Toronto corridor. Also, the Devils lost their third straight, this one to their old friend, Scott Wedgewood in Dallas. Florida shut out Columbus, Carolina shut out Detroit (Pyotr Kochetkov’s second consecutive clean sheet), and Washington topped Chicago.
- But the more important news from the Capitals’ victory was that Alex Ovechkin recorded a hat trick to put him right at 800 goals, a huge feat in and of itself—he’s only the third guy to ever do it—and a feat that puts him one goal behind Gordie Howe for second all-time. [NHL]
- After some whispers that the cap could make that massive leap as early as next season, it appears that it will rise only $1 million as originally planned, and the jump will have to wait. [NHL]
- Bo Horvat will most likely be traded after rejecting the latest offer from the Vancouver Canucks, but he put out a statement through the team addressing the situation. He won’t answer any more questions because, being the captain he is, he doesn’t want it to be a distraction. [NHL]