Islanders Lose: Opening Thoughts
The Semyon Varlamov franchise setting shutout streak has come to an end at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. With an awful performance by the Islanders, only headlined by goals from Oliver Wahlstrom and Adam Pelech. The Islanders lose a game they should have one, but a monumental collapse in the third period.
The Islanders started off pretty poorly with an immediate penalty on Leo Komarov less than two minutes into the period. Although it was killed off and the Islanders managed to put together a solid first period. They consistently placed high chances shots against Michael Houser, in his NHL debut. With 11 shots in the period, the Islanders managed to capitalize on a solid chance with an Adam Pelech goal halfway through the period. Houser would eventually earn his first NHL win as the Islanders manage to lose this game.
The second period was also a pretty solid performance by the Islanders. Although being outshot by the Sabres, Varlamov was able to stop all even-strength shots he faced. Midway through the period, a one-timer from the point from Adam Pelech was tipped by Oliver Wahlstrom to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. After this goal, however, the Sabres started gaining momentum. With a penalty against Scott Mayfield and a resulting powerplay, the Sabres managed to bring the game within one. Only a few short minutes after the Sabres powerplay goal, the Sabres took a penalty of their own. Unfortunately for the Islanders, they could not capitalize on their advantage.
This period was one of the worst performances I have seen from the Islanders this season. The Sabres outclassed on every aspect of hockey in this period. The Sabres managed to score three goals, all coming after the midway point of the period. A monumental collapse on what was a solid performance by the Islanders. With less than a minute left, an absolutely brutal turnover by Nick Leddy led directly to an empty-net goal for the Sabres.
Islanders Lose: Final Thoughts
This game shows how inconsistent the Islanders can be at times. With the playoffs less than two weeks away, the Islanders need to get their act together. If they can’t manage to find the right lineup without Anders Lee, then a first-round exit against the Capitals or Penguins is imminent.