Hockey is a funny game. Your team can play well and lose in regulation, or your team can steal a shutout regulation win. You simply never know what’s going to happen when the puck drops.
Right after the puck dropped last night, the New York Islanders took a 1-0 lead over the Washington Capitals. They did not relinquish that lead the rest of the night, and Ryan Pulock’s goal 22 seconds into the contest stood as the game-winner. His shot and Simon Holmstrom’s finish of a play he created with Hudson Fasching were the Isles’ only two shots in the first period, but they both went in. So while two shots in one period is typically a bad period of hockey, some nights are yours.
As Dom wrote in his recap last night, the Islanders eventually righted the ship after going up 3-0. Washington pushed back throughout the game only to be stopped by Semyon Varlamov (who earned his second consecutive shutout), but they lost steam as the result became clearer. Ironically, it was after the Isles took control that the Caps appeared to get on the board, but for a correct goalie interference challenge by Lane Lambert.
Tomorrow night, the Islanders are back home to host the Carolina Hurricanes, who were last in UBS Arena ending the Islanders’ 2022-23 season. Carolina is currently only a game over NHL .500 and technically behind the Isles in the standings, but they do like to visit Long Island.
About last night:
- It is quite the luxury to have a guy who could be a starter on many teams in the NHL as your backup. [LHH]
By my awful math, Semyon Varlamov's shutout streak has reached 137:20.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) November 3, 2023
- Without Varlamov’s play, they probably wouldn’t win that game because of how they looked through the first two periods. [Newsday | THN]
- The Islanders made wine out of water last night and got contributions from Scott Mayfield and Hudson Fasching in their returns to the lineup. [3 Takeaways]
- There was no easing back in for Mayfield, though, since Adam Pelech left the game in the first period. [Newsday | NY Post]
- Pulock, Holmstrom, and who else but Brock Nelson had the Isles’ goals. [NHL] The lines remained almost exactly the same, with Mayfield subbing in for Samuel Bolduc and Fasching slotting in for Oliver Wahlstrom. [THN]
- The Capitals entered on a three-game winning streak, but the Islanders snapped that and extended their own point streak to four games. [amNY]
- Bo Horvat is looking more like the player the Islanders acquired last year. [NY Post]
- The Isles’ Russian goalies have a lot of good things to say about Washington’s Russian star, Alexander Ovechkin. [Newsday]
- J-G Pageau was spotted getting fighting advice from Matt Martin. He just wants “to be ready.” [THN]
- Andrew Gross hosted another Island Ice leading into last night’s game, and he discussed the start to the season and spoke with Cory Schneider.
Last night’s NHL scores include the ‘Canes falling in regulation to the Rangers at the Garden, the Panthers shutting out the Red Wings on the road, the Devils beating the Wild in regulation on the road, and the Canucks hanging a ten-spot on the Sharks, leading 10-0 at one point—old friend Anthony Beauvillier’s first two goals of the season were nos. 9 and 10.
- The Rangers, however, lost both Adam Fox and Filip Chytil for the game due to injuries. [NHL]
- Erik Karlsson and some other Pittsburgh Penguins tested out neck guards in practice. [NHL]
- New Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer was not thrilled with inheriting punishments for the past regime and hinted that the NHL may have engaged in some less-than-legal behavior in selling to him. [32 Thoughts]