If you were watching the broadcast, the highlight of the afternoon was probably the rotating cast of names from the Islanders’ past, as the team celebrated Alumni Weekend. Unfortunately, the Isles couldn’t pull off a win at home for the alums.
The did play a pretty good game this afternoon, though, hanging in with the current division leaders up until a defensive breakdown that led to Max Domi notching the game winner. There’s just three games remaining, two against the Capitals and one against the Lightning, and unfortunately this might be a really rough ending to a forgettable season.
The Isles started out strong, with Mat Barzal having a shot go wide and Otto Koivula nearly scoring his first NHL goal, just failing to elevate the puck past Antti Raanta, who made a pad save.
Then, Noah Dobson made a weak back pass, not recognizing how close Derek Stepan was to him, and Stepan intercepted the puck and put it past Varlamov.
Casey Cizikas had a shot saved on a 2 on 1, and later Palmieri got called for a hooking penalty in the offensive zone.
On that power play, Seth Jarvis made it 2-0.
Zdeno Chara and Max Domi were called for roughing and slashing, respectively, and Chara was seemingly ready to fight all five Hurricanes on the ice, though we were robbed of seeing that happen.
Near the end of the period, Ross Johnston deflected a pass from Matt Martin into the net, making it 2-1.
Brady Skjei was called for slashing, but the Hurricanes killed the power play.
Varlamov needed to make a save on a tricky Ethan Bear shot, and at the other end, a Kyle Palmieri wraparound attempt just wouldn’t go for him.
After a somewhat routine save by Raanta, he picked up a lower body injury, bringing rookie goalie Pyotr Kochetkov into the game.
Tony DeAngelo went to the box for holding, and on the power play, Ryan Pulock tied the game with a great shot.
Pulock creates space and rips it! pic.twitter.com/Nyop32Ae6Q— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) April 24, 2022
Palmieri nearly scored a goal in similar fashion to his one-handed game-winner last time around against the Hurricanes, but he couldn’t quite pull it off this time.
Max Domi was left all alone in front and the Hurricanes got the puck to him, and he quickly put it past Varlamov to make it 3-2.
Jordan Martinook went to the box for hooking, but the Isles couldn’t convert on the power play.
With a little over two minutes left, they pulled Varlamov for an extra skater, and Jesper Fast put it into the empty net to make it 4-2. Then, the Isles pulled him again, but Brendan Smith scored an additional empty netter, leaving the final score as a 5-2 Islanders loss.
Next, a home and home with the Capitals, as the Isles head down to Washington DC on Tuesday before coming back to UBS Arena on Thursday. There’s nothing to play for but a little bit of pride as we get to the very end of a rough season of Islanders hockey.