New York Islanders

Don’t look now, but the Islanders have been making noise in the Eastern Conference. After firing Capuano, the Islanders have roared back into competitive form and clawed out of the cellar of the East. 

  • New York Islanders 3 (22-17-9, 53pts)
  • Washington Capitals 2 (33-11-6, 72pts)
  • NHL Final, Box Score
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Nose to the Grinder

Doug Weight has instilled a visible change into his players’ drive.

(Seemingly) Gone are the third period collapses, the inability to close games and the inconsistency that followed them.

No, these Islanders are playing with renewed fight and spirit, and it appears to be thanks to Dougie.

Weight’s team is now 5-0-1 in his first six games as head coach.

They remain three points out of a playoff berth with three games in hand.

John Tavares, Ryan Strome, Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera top off the list of players who are particularly flourishing under Weight.

While some haven’t consistently found their way to the scoresheet yet (Ladd, Strome) their improvement is undeniable.

Recap

In what proved to be a tight knit game, the Islanders skated with the best team in the NHL and left the rink with two points in regulation.

After snoozing off for the beginning of the first once more, Evgeny Kuznetsov penetrated the defense and shot one past Greiss’ blocker.

Despite the score holding at 1-0, the Islanders managed to outshoot the Capitals 11-9 thanks to a PP with concentrated zone time.

Speaking of the PP, Ladd rang a golden opportunity off the crossbar which found the blade of Alan Quine, as well as the net.

The shot visibly stunned Philip Grubauer who had no idea where the puck ended up until the goal horn.

The Islanders continued to out-chance the Capitals throughout the 2nd period.

Washington was fortunate enough to walk out of the second tied.

It was an offensive shooting gallery as a smart play by Anthony Beauvillier found Brock Nelson, who fed it to Strome and scored a much-needed goal.

It was this goal that awoke the sleeping giant in Washington.

The Capitals turned on their jets and relentlessly hammered at Thomas Greiss and the Islanders.

Johnny Boychuk seemingly iced the game with an empty-net goal until Alex Ovechkin‘s shot found its way through a screen 19 seconds later.

Greiss and the Islanders clung to their lead as they defeated the NHL’s top team.


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