WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED LAST WEEK…
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18 – FLYERS 7, ISLANDERS 0
The New York Islanders definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed on Monday as they were absolutely embarrassed by the Philadelphia Flyers and shut out, 7-0, in front of a crowd of 16,170 at Nassau Coliseum.
The Flyers opened the scoring massacre at 0:26 of period one on Claude Giroux’s fourth goal of the season, which was assisted by Matt Read and Jakub Voracek.
Philadelphia added three more unanswered goals in the second period and wasted no time coming out of the intermission as Read netted his seventh goal, this time assisted by Giroux and Voracek. Later in the period on a power play, the Flyers tallied again, this time on a ringer by Brayden Schenn with assists by Voracek and Danny Briere. Before heading into the second intermission, Giroux added his second goal of the game at 14:45, assisted again by Read and Voracek.
Just when Isles fans thought it couldn’t get any worse, the debacle carried on into the final period of play. At 3:31, Zac Rinaldo joined the party with his first goal of the season. He was assisted by Harry Zolniercyzk and Luke Schenn. Philadelphia again found themselves with a power play opportunity and capitalized when Briere hit the back of the net at 10:27 with helpers from Sean Couturier and Erik Gustafsson. Briere would score again at 17:46, this time assisted by B. Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, to wrap up one of the worst performances by the Isles thus far this season.
The Isles only managed 19 shots on goal as Philadelphia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov came away with the win. For New York, Evgeni Nabokov allowed seven goals on 25 shots to add another loss to his record.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19 – ISLANDERS 1, SENATORS 3
Following their miserable loss on President’s Day, the Isles headed to Canada for a pair of games, beginning with a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Shots on goal also favored the Senators, 38-26.
After a scoreless first period, the Sens found the back of the net at 6:01 of the second as Colin Greening, assisted by Stephane Da Costa and Daniel Alfredsson, scored his second goal of the season on an Ottawa power play chance. Ottawa followed up with another unanswered tally at 8:37 as Andre Benoit scored his first National Hockey League goal. The lone assist was credited to Jakob Silfverberg as the former American Hockey League Binghamton Senators teammates sent the Sens into the third up by two.
The Islanders finally got on the board after being shut out for five straight periods in the third frame. Travis Hamonic scored his second of the season at 2:44 and was assisted by Marty Reasoner and Kyle Okoposo. New York couldn’t find the back of the net again before regulation’s end, but Ottawa did with another first. David Dziurzynski netted his first career NHL goal with helpers from Zack Smith and his old Binghamton teammate Eric Gryba. The final score was 3-1 in favor of the Senators.
Nabokov experienced his second straight loss despite making 23 saves for the Isles. Ottawa backstop Craig Anderson earned the victory after stopping 37 of 38 shots he faced.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21 – ISLANDERS 4, CANADIENS 3
After two straight losses, the Isles wrapped up their two-day stay north of the border with an overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday evening. Nabokov made 30 saves to earn the victory as Carey Price came away with the loss for Montreal, making 21 saves of his own.
Montreal controlled the scoring during the first period as they netted two unanswered goals. At 0:49, Travis Moen, assisted solely by Colby Armstrong, scored his second of the season, followed by Max Pacioretty finding his third season tally on a power play at 11:02. David Desharanis and P.K. Subban had the assists.
In the second, the Isles got one back on a power play of their own when Matt Moulson, assisted by captain Mark Streit, registered his eighth goal of the season at 0:34 before the Canadiens added another at 8:30. Pacioretty scored his second of the game with another assist by Desharnais. The period’s scoring wrapped up with a power play goal by New York at 16:57 on Moulson’s second tally of the night (and ninth of the season) with assists by John Tavares and Brad Boyes.
At 9:51 of the third, Frans Nielsen tied up the game at three with assists by Josh Bailey and Nabokov. The score remained unchanged through the end of regulation as the game headed to overtime.
The Isles were able to beat Price at 3:12 of the sudden death period to come away with a 4-3 victory. Thomas Hickey was credited with the goal, which was also his first of the season, with assists going to Michael Grabner and Tavares.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23 – ISLANDERS 4, SABRES 0
The Islanders must have picked up some positive momentum from their overtime win in Montreal and followed up by shutting out the Buffalo Sabres, 4-0, on Saturday.
No goals were seen until 17:51 of the second frame on Streit’s fourth of the season. Assists were credited to Moulson and Reasoner. Grabner added another at 18:56 on his seventh ringer, unassisted.
The Isles continued to rack up the score at 4:24 on Tavares’ team-leading 12th goal of the season with assists by Moulson and Boyes before putting the game completely out of reach for the Sabres at 19:02. With New York on the power play, Colin McDonald found the back of the net for the third time this season with assists from Cizkas and Streit to secure a second straight victory for the Isles.
Earning a shutout in goal was Nabokov, making a total of 35 saves. Netminder Ryan Miller struggled for Buffalo as he only stopped 28 of 32 shots, taking the loss.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – HURRICANES 4, ISLANDERS 2
The winning flow didn’t carry through Sunday night’s game as a crowd of 10,048 at Nassau Coliseum witnessed the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Isles, 4-2.
New York looked to be off to a good start in the first period as they scored two unanswered goals, starting at 4:38 with Moulson’s tenth of the season. He was assists by Boyes and Tavares. Then at 12:25, Tavares added his thirteenth tally of 2013 with the lone assist going to Moulson.
The score remained unchanged until 18:28 and 19:13 when the Staal brothers tied up the game at two. Carolina’s first goal came on a power play when Eric Staal scored his ninth of the season with helpers from Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty. His brother, Jordan, found his fourth of the season to tie the score and was assisted by Semin and Justin Faulk.
Carolina scored two goals in the final period of regulation to put the game out of reach for the Islanders. Bobby Sanguinetti scored his first goal of the season at 10:17 and was assisted by Patrick Dwyer and J. Staal before Semin, unassisted, took advantage of an empty New York net at 19:30.
Earning the goaltender victory was Cam Ward, who managed to stop 23 of 25 shots on goal. Kevin Poulin took the loss for the Isles despite making 24 saves.
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT WEEK…
The Islanders start the week with 17 points, representative of a 8-10-1 record. They currently stand dead in the Atlantic Division and 12th overall in the Eastern Conference.
Tavares currently has 25 points, currently ranking him third among NHL skaters. He leads the Isles with 13 goals and 12 assists. Moulson is seventh in the league and second on the team with 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists). Rounding out the team-leading scoring tandem is Boyes, who has four goals and 11 assists.
Forward Casey Cizikas will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Wednesday, February 27th. The Toronto, Ontario native currently sits on one goal and four assists.
And now.. a look at the match-ups ahead:
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26 – BRUINS @ ISLANDERS – 7:30 PM – NBCSN
The Islanders continue their home stand on Tuesday with a visit from the Boston Bruins (11-2-2-0). The last time the Bruins and Isles met, New York fell 4-2 with shots favoring the Bruins, 27-26. Boston currently sits in second place in the Northeast Division and fourth overall in the Eastern Conference.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28 – MAPLE LEAFS @ ISLANDERS – 7:00 PM – MSG+
The Toronto Maple Leafs will then stop at Nassau Coliseum to try to redeem themselves for falling to the Islanders last time the two teams met, 7-4. The Maple Leafs have a 11-8 record and 22 points to place them in fourth place in the Northeast Division.
SUNDAY, MARCH 3 – SENATORS @ ISLANDERS – 3:00 PM – MSG+
The Isles will wrap up the week with a rematch against the Ottawa Senators, who won 3-1 last week north of the border. It will be the second of three games between the two teams this season. The Sens currently have a 11-6-2-0 record and are in third place in the Northeast Division.