Well, the Islanders got goalie’d. A dominant first period ended with Edmonton scoring with just a minute remaining, something of a trend this season, and aside from one power play goal, the Isles couldn’t get anything past Mike Smith, despite their best efforts.
Smith had to make some excellent saves to keep the Oilers ahead, and also had some help from the crossbar, but ultimately it was a disappointing result against a team that’s been on a tailspin and just fired their coach.
The Islanders dominated this period, with the best chances for Edmonton coming when Connor McDavid seemed to get to full speed against Zdeno Chara and Andy Greene, but they were able to avoid being the next victims of a McDavid wonder goal highlight reel, keeping him in check.
Smith made a bunch of saves, notably on chances by Zach Parise and Noah Dobson, and then Markus Niemelainen took a penalty, heading to the box for crosschecking Parise in front of the crease.
Mat Barzal and Brock Nelson had great chances on the power play, but couldn’t get anything past Smith, and then with a minute left, McDavid and Draisaitl set up Cody Ceci, who scored on Ilya Sorokin from the point to make it 1-0, Edmonton.
Dobson and Parise found themselves on a 2 on 0, but with the puck rolling, Parise’s shot went wide.
Oliver Wahlstrom took a great shot but couldn’t get that to go in the net, and Zach Hyman scored for Edmonton, earning his 100th career NHL goal in the process.
Ryan McLeod was called for tripping, sending the Islanders back on the power play. Dobson fumbled the puck and had to catch up to Draisaitl shorthanded, forcing his shot to go wide. Back in Edmonton’s end, Ryan Pulock got the puck to Anthony Beauvillier, who ripped one past Smith from the left circle to make it 2-1.
Casey Cizikas then nearly tied it up, with his shot saved on a breakaway.
Beauvillier hit one off the crossbar, and at the other end Sorokin stopped a Jesse Puljujarvi shot.
The Islanders would go to the power play again as Evander Kane was called for high sticking Barzal. On the power play, Pulock broke his stick on a shot, and the puck went to Wahlstrom, who was very convinced he ripped it past Smith, starting to celebrate before realizing that it wasn’t called a goal on the ice. Upon closer review, Wahlstrom did beat Smith, but his shot hit the crossbar, keeping the Isles trailing 2-1.
Hyman had a chance for his second of the night go high, and Sorokin made a save on Draisaitl.
McDavid drew a penalty while spinning around Scott Mayfield, who stuck his leg out, sending McDavid to the ice. He still got a pretty good shot attempt off, because, well... he’s Connor McDavid.
Multiple skaters whiffed on the puck following the faceoff on the penalty kill, and it comes right to Puljujarvi out in front, who swiped at it to go five hole on Sorokin and make it 3-1.
JG Pageau was called for goalie interference after diving towards a loose puck outside of the crease that Smith was going for, and he attracted some attention from the Oilers’ skaters for that, causing Kane to take a roughing penalty, so the teams skated at 4 on 4.
Then Mayfield took his second tripping penalty of the night, this time on Draisaitl, and the Isles had to kill off the penalty while watching their time to mount a comeback dwindle to just under two minutes.
The Isles pulled Sorokin after the PK and Barzal and Bailey had some great shots stopped, but ultimately they couldn’t get anything else in the net and dropped the game to Edmonton, 3-1.
- Typical that a goalie rocking a .890 save percentage on the season has a .974 against the Islanders.
- Beauvillier looked pretty good tonight, and seemed to be getting double shifted at times over Ross Johnston. This team needs scoring, Johnston and Martin are too similar to justify having both in the lineup.
- Still a lot of things to like from this game, the Isles looked a lot more confident and played pretty well.
Next, the Islanders will play the Calgary Flames today(!) at 10pm, continuing the late nights for east coast Isles fans as the first western road trip of the month comes to an end.