Yep, this is the second to last home game of the season – a season unlike last year in terms of injury and countless streaks of ineffectiveness. Instead, the Islanders have been entertaining to watch, sometimes dominating teams they had no business winning against – at least on paper.
It’s been about the kids, and not just the young players on the Islanders – but throughout the organization. The Islanders have a core group of young players coming up through the ranks, it’s nice to see players down in Bridgeport get their look up here and give us a taste of the future – and what Garth Snow and Ryan Jankowski have been doing behind the scenes the last few seasons.
The Islanders are coming off back to back impressive wins at home against the Flyers and the Ottawa Senators – should they win tonight it would be one very impressive three-peat. While I love to see my Islanders do well, I also have no problem with losses, as it gives us a better chance at a top five draft pick.
Sitting here typing up this pre-game piece; the Montreal fans are ALREADY loud. They always show up in droves, regardless of what time of year or what day of the week it is. Unfortunately this time, there are a few directly behind me so it’s a bit frustrating trying to concentrate with them yelling at my ear level.
The scratches tonight for the Islanders, Bruno Gervais and Jeff Tambellini. Islanders goaltender, Martin Biron.
7:11pm Islanders control the opening draw and take it deep into the Go Habs Go zone….ooops I mean Habs zone.
7:13pm Bailey sits for two minutes for interfering with Kostitsyn
7:16pm Islanders kill off the penalty and only allow two shots on goal.
7:19pm Isles have had a few scoring chances, but Halak has been up to task. You would think we were in a battle for playoff position with the Habs the way the fans are yelling all game.
7:27pm Lots of back and forth action – but it’s not very exciting so far, more like a tennis match.
7:30pm Islanders score! Bergenheim with a great behind the back pass to Comeau who rips a shot past Halak for a 1-0 lead. Bergy gets the lone assist.
7:37pm Oh baby, Park just looked up to the heavens because he was robbed on a great chance in front.
7:39pm Gill hooks Bailey who falls into Halak and we have a power play. Gillies popped Gill in the face, then another random player – no penalties. Talk about an agitator.
7:41pm Islanders come up short on the power play, but did manage to get some decent shots off on Halak.
End of the First Period
Another slow start to the first period, but the Islanders manage to finish the period with a 1-0 lead and hold the edge in shots 15-5. They kept the Habs from even getting a shot on goal for periods of 4 and 6 minutes respectively this period. If they continue their strong play into the second, there is a good chance they get into the third still up at least a goal.
7:59pm Second period underaway, Islanders had some pressure early now the Habs are mounting an attack.
8:03pm Okposo with a diving jab at a pass to break it up – don’t know how he got that one as it was mid-air.
8:06pm Habs are waking up for sure, they have two shots….this period.
8:09pm Well, Montreal finds a way to tie this game up on their 10th shot – it’s all tied up 1-1 and the Habs fans awaken from their slumber.
8:12pm Bailey with his second penalty of the night, this time for hooking
8:13pm 2-1 Habs, PP goal and like that the Islanders collapse
8:15pm Tavares leads a two on one, but got jammed up and couldn’t get a pass off.
8:21pm Reese gets in the way of a point shot by the Habs and it trickles right to Biron who covers it for a stoppage. Shot count is now 21-16 in favor of the Islanders.
8:27pm Some penalties here, Hunter for the Islanders and Markov for the Habs – looks like two each, Hunter for roughing, Markov for slashing.
8:31pm Sim takes some contact and then a cross check from Gomez – Islanders power play with 1:32 remaining in the second period.
End of the Second Period
Well, that did not go according to play at all. The Islanders are going to the locker room down a goal for the first time in over six periods – can they find what it takes to rally and finish out their 28 seconds worth of power play?
8:51pm Islanders win the opening draw again, carry it out and lose control – Habs dump it back into the Islanders zone and the power play is over.
8:54pm Bergenheim goes inside outside on a Habs defender alone and BLASTS a shot over Halak’s glove off the crossbar to tie the game. I mean, BLASTS. Assisted by Reese (who has a point streak now).
9:01pm Tavares was robbed by Halak on a point blank chance.
9:02pm Habs come back and get the go-ahead on Biron to make it 3-2
9:09pm Jackman was just leveled near the Habs blueline – he got up and hit the first person he was near.
9:15pm Biron with a big glove save through traffic – chants of Biron in both French and English rain down from the stands – oddly enough.
9:21pm Frans Nielsen with the game tying goal with two minutes remaining. Assisted by Park and Bergenheim.
End of Regulation
Ok, so two times tonight I was talking about how it would be nice to take a loss like tonight – hard fought and a close entertaining game. What do the Isles do? Tie the game with two minutes left. Figures.
9:27pm Some chances each way the first minute here in overtime, Biron with a big blocker save to deflect the puck out of play.
9:29pm Team defense saves a goal for the Isles, Bailey gets robbed the other direction. Would’ve been his third overtime winner this season.
9:30pm Islanders power play – Kostitsyn for hooking
9:32pm Timeout Montreal – Okposo just had the entire blocker side high and shot it right into Halak’s crest.
End of Overtime
Heading into a shootout, Islanders are 0/3 on the power play
Moulson – GOAL
Lappierriere – NO GOAL
Nielsen – GOAL (Patented backhand)
Cammallieri – NO GOAL
Islanders win 4-3 in a shootout