What a frustrating and infuriating game from start to finish after a frustrating and infuriating end to the game in Nashville.
After a frankly weak slashing penalty led to the Wild’s opening goal, the Islanders barely generated any offense at all and completely fell apart in the second period, where Minnesota scored two goals and dominated the whole time.
The Islanders never looked like they were going to get back into it.
It’s a rough look for a team that sees itself as a contender, and for an organization that preaches accountability. There are a lot of guys who could (and probably should) sit next game, but we’ll see what happens next.
Anders Lee was called for slashing just a minute into the game after taking an extra jab at a seemingly loose puck before the whistle. Marc-Andre Fleury and the rest of the Minnesota Wild took exception, and despite Fleury actually throwing a punch, only Lee was penalized.
Mats Zuccarello scored on the power play on a screened shot that went past Ilya Sorokin.
Marcus Foligno was called for roughing, and Bo Horvat had the best chance of the power play, but he hit the crossbar and the Wild were able to get the kill.
Noah Dobson picked up a tripping penalty, but the Islanders killed that.
Late in the third, Kyle Palmieri went to the box for high sticking, and the Wild power play would carry over into the second period. Sorokin made a big save on Joel Eriksson-Ek to keep the score at 1-0 after one period.
The Islanders killed that penalty, but a little over two minutes into the period, Connor Dewar scored for the Wild off a bad giveaway from Sebastian Aho.
Just twenty seconds later, Eriksson-Ek would head to the box for holding, but the Wild killed that penalty.
For a real look at how the night was going, there was a slow whistle as Pat Maroon beat the defense to take a shot that nearly beat Sorokin.
Bo Horvat was called for delay of game after putting the puck into the bench but over the glass first, and Eriksson-Ek scored off a Kirill Kaprizov cross ice pass to make it 3-0.
Ryan Hartman tripped Matt Martin and the Wild killed that penalty, too.
Cal Clutterbuck put a shot off the crossbar, and Kyle Palmieri was called for unsportsmanlike conduct with 30 seconds left in the period.
Embarrassingly, the Islanders were outshot 20-3 in this period.
Lane Lambert put in Ken Appleby, the 28-year-old back up who would be playing in his first NHL game since 2018. He was pretty good in relief of Sorokin, making a big save on Hartman at one point.
Simon Holmstrom had a chance to score on a wide open net but put the puck off Fleury’s pad.
Kaprizov was called for high sticking Alex Romanov and drew blood, earning a four minute penalty, but then just 7 seconds in, Lee was called for a weak hooking penalty.
Eriksson-Ek scored short handed and Mark Foligno scored shortly after to make it 4, and then 5-0, giving Marc-Andre Fleury his 552nd career win, putting him into second place all-time, and a shutout to boot.
Next, the Islanders head to Winnipeg to take on the Central Division-leading Jets tomorrow night at 9pm. We’ll see if Pierre Engvall is blamed for this, or perhaps one of the penalty-prone members of the team this time...