So, the Islanders are officially out of the playoffs. It was inevitable given how the season’s gone, but it still stings. It’ll be the first time the Islanders will miss the playoffs under Barry Trotz, and after two consecutive trips to the semifinals, it’s a complete letdown.
At least there are some positives to build on, with Noah Dobson taking strides as an elite young defenseman, and Ilya Sorokin establishing himself as a true #1 goaltender for the team. But there will need to be some changes, and hopefully management will make the right ones to get the team back on track and back into the playoffs.
Early on, Ross Johnston and Wayne Simmonds dropped the gloves, with Johnston quickly ending that fight with a few quick punches.
Matt Martin blocked a shot and lost a skate blade, leading to Zdeno Chara comically helping him towards the bench.
Big Z helps Matty get off the ice pic.twitter.com/ybGpVDReoU— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) April 17, 2022
Jack Campbell had to save some attempts from Zach Parise, Brock Nelson, and Ryan Pulock.
Chara blocked a shot and then Sorokin made a follow up save on an attempt from William Nylander, and then on Ilya Mikheyev.
Anders Lee created a solid chance for himself after one-handing the puck into the zone and then getting a solid one-handed shot off that Campbell was able to stop.
Sorokin saved another Nylander shot, and then Michael Bunting took down Noah Dobson, sending the Isles to the power play.
Campbell made a big save on a Nelson shot, but Anthony Beauvillier would open the scoring for the Islanders with a nice power play goal.
Beau keeps the feet moving and finds an opening for a PPG! pic.twitter.com/ByWeOAV7wb— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) April 18, 2022
Towards the end of the period, Sorokin made a save but the rebound bounced out right in front, where Mitch Marner beat out Mat Barzal to get to the puck, and he put it in to tie the game.
Just 30 seconds in, Josh Bailey got credited for a goal as the last Islander to touch the puck that Alex Kerfoot shot into his own net.
Andy Greene had a shot saved by Campbell, and JG Pageau couldn’t convert on a breakaway.
Sorokin made a big save on John Tavares, but the Leafs tied the game when Kerfoot and Pierre Engvall got on a 2 on 1, and Kerfoot passed the puck off to Engvall who scored.
Then, the Leafs went to the power play as Casey Cizikas was called for slashing. On that power play, Nylander scored to make it 3-2, giving the Leafs the lead, after Adam Pelech couldn’t get the puck out following a Morgan Rielly turnover.
Kyle Palmieri got hit high by Ilya Lyubushkin, causing a scrum, and sending the Isles to the power play. Despite some good chances, the Isles couldn’t convert.
Campbell made a couple of good saves early, and Lee had an attempt go off the post from a bad angle.
Colin Blackwell seemed to have sent the puck out over the glass, but the refs huddled after and determined that he actually didn’t do so. Then, the penalties went the other way, as Chara was called for tripping Simmonds, and then Pelech was called for sending the puck over the glass as he tried to clear the puck from the slot. That penalty set the Leafs up for a 1:21 5 on 3. With a lot of help from Sorokin, the Islanders were able to kill those penalties.
Palmieri missed a shot towards an open net as Campbell was down, and as the Isles started to put on some pressure to tie the game, Kerfoot and Engvall went on another 2 on 1 that Chara was able to break up.
The Islanders pulled Sorokin with about 2 minutes left in the game and ultimately couldn’t convert, with David Kampf putting the puck in the empty net for the Maple Leafs with 9 seconds left to make it a 4-2 loss.
Next, the Islanders head home to UBS Arena to take on the Florida Panthers, who are riding a 10 game win streak.