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Islanders Playoff Puck Talk – Round 2 – Game 2 vs Carolina

The New York Islanders went into their Game 2 matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes ready to prove themselves as the team everyone now thinks they are;  A defensive stalwart who gets timely goals and who has played very well at home.  Although they continued to be defensively sound, they had a 48 second period where the lights went out.  That 48 second period was enough for the ‘Canes to win the game, and it’s a learning lesson for the young Isles who are struggling to find consistency on the offensive end.

Game 2 – Sunday, April 28th, 2019 – Carolina Hurricanes @ New York Islanders 

Score – 2-1 Hurricanes

Player of the game – Mathew Barzal

Grade – C+

The Islanders may have had an unfathomable amount of bad luck while shooting the puck, but they only scored one goal and that one goal was off of Jacob Slavin’s stick.  The Islanders have more goals scored by Hurricanes in this series than by their own players, and that’s a major problem.  Sure, Jordan Eberle hit multiple posts on Sunday and Devon Toews’ had a goal that was disallowed towards the end of the second period, but the Islanders could never really break through the Hurricanes’ stifling D.

The first period came and went with not much going on except for a PP goal by Mathew Barzal, which was more of a lucky deflection than anything.  Barzal was looking to pass it across the goal crease when Jacob Slavin’s outstretched stick poked it into the net.

The second period was another one of those boring periods for the most part, as both teams played a game of chess against each other.  The Islanders had ample opportunity to increase the lead, including but not limited to Scott Mayfield’s whiff on Petr Mrazek (we’ll get to that shortly) and a couple of inopportune shots off the post.  Speaking of Mrazek, he left midway through the second period due to a leg injury and was replaced by Curtin McElhinney, who stopped all 17 shots he faced.  With just under 30 seconds left in the second, Devon Toews shot the puck at McElhinney and the rebound came back to Toews.  Toews, as he was trying to corral the puck around the net near the goal line, kicked the puck off the inside of McElhinney’s leg and into the net.  It was immediately waved off and reviewed, where it was deemed a no goal due to a distinct kicking motion.  Even though Devon Toews was nearly behind the net when he kicked it, it was the “kicking motion” that caused the no goal, not the direction into the net.

The Islanders were looking to protect a one goal lead in the third when it all fell apart.  Robin Lehner was a bit off his angle just 48 seconds in when Warren Foegele scored for the ‘Canes.  You can’t fault Lehner because it was a perfect shot and Lehner has been excellent all season and all series.  The second goal the ‘Canes scored, just 48 seconds later, was a deflection from Nino Niederreiter right in front.  He hit it perfectly off a shot by Teuvo Teravainen.

The Islanders pushed and pushed but could never break through.  Jordan Eberle hit one off the post so hard that the goal actually had to be reviewed.  Shockingly, it was deemed a no goal.  With just under a minute left, Ryan Pulock got a wide open slapshot look and hit the crossbar.  The Islanders couldn’t convert and the Hurricanes leave Brooklyn with a 2-0 series lead after two games where the Islanders didn’t do much wrong.

Game Notes

  • The Islanders have more disallowed goals (2) than goals that have counted so far this series
  • Curtis McElhinney stopped all 17 shots he faced in relief of Petr Mrazek and may need to be relied upon in Game 3
  • Jordan Eberle hit two posts on Sunday, Ryan Pulock one, and Anders Lee had three or four opportunities in the crease to slide one through
  • The ice at Barclays Center was better on Sunday but still not great.  It will be interesting to see how the ice is in a warmer environment down in Raleigh

The Islanders are still looking for answers after Game 2, but they have no one to blame but themselves.  Too many missed opportunities kept the Hurricanes in the game and they paid for it.  In addition, even though the Islanders outshot Carolina 26-18, the Islanders never had much sustained offensive zone time.  The ‘Canes are playing the Islanders how the Islanders play every other team.  They’re frustrating the Isles and the Isles have yet to respond.

Game 3 will be in Raleigh on Wednesday night.  The Islanders will need to win this game.  If they lose, they’ll have to try and make history, becoming only the fifth team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 deficit.


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