The New York Islanders scored two goals in the final 6:56 of regulation to earn a point before falling 3-2 to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout Monday afternoon. Vladimir Tarasenko scored both goals for the Blues and scored again in the shootout to lead St. Louis. Andrew Ladd and Anders Lee tallied for the Islanders while Thomas Greiss made 33 saves for the Islanders.
The Islanders were outplayed for most of the first 50 minutes of the game but refused to quit and were able to steal a point in this contest before 10,673 fans at Barclays Center.
“Coming back from two down going into the third, we had plenty of opportunities to win the game in overtime,” Isles captain John Tavares said. “We battled through it and got a point and almost had two.”
The Islanders had a season-high 42 shots on goal in this contest although too many of them were not quality opportunities. When they did get good scoring chances, Blues starter Jake Allen played a strong game and was there to stop pucks.
“He [Allen] was seeing everything tonight and they controlled all his rebounds,” Isles forward Anders Lee said. “When he’s playing like that, it’s tough to score on him or get second chances.”
The Blues managed 35 shots at Greiss but the Isles netminder was called on to make more difficult stops over the course of the game.
“He kept us in the game with two huge saves,” Mathew Barzal explained. “He ultimately saved us a point.”
The Islanders power play remains a sore point. They were 0-for-6 tonight including a stretch in the second period where they had a 4:00 power play that led into a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:23. Overall on the season, the Isles are 0-for-10 with the extra attacker.
“They all have good hands and I think they like to use them a little too much right now,” Isles head coach Doug Weight said when asked about his power play. “You’ve got to get it off your stick and you’ve got to trust the five guys on the ice…You’ve got to move it around and zip it around and move it into space to make people vulnerable. We’ve got to move the puck around quicker.”
The Isles gained momentum as the third period progressed and started to finally get quality scoring chances on Allen. Ladd scored at 13:04 with Brock Nelson setting a perfect screen in front of the goal to make the score 2-1.
The Islanders appeared to be in trouble when they were called for too many men with 4:15 left in regulation. The Isles managed to kill off the penalty and then pulled Greiss for an extra attacker. Lee set up in front of the Blues net and put home the rebound of a shot from the point by Thomas Hickey to tie the contest with 59.2 seconds left in the third period.
Both teams had good chances to win in overtime. Barzal and Tavares had quality chances for the Isles while the Blues had a few good opportunities when Nick Leddy was called for slashing and St. Louis had a power play in the extra session. Greiss came up big and forced the shootout.
Both Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn scored for the Blues in the shootout while Allen stopped both Isles shooters to clinch the win for St. Louis.
The Islanders earned a point with a late comeback against a quality opponent. They return to action Wednesday night when they begin a four-game road trip against the Ducks in Anaheim.
The Islanders were again without the services of injured forward Cal Clutterbuck. Dennis Seidenberg and Ryan Pulock were healthy scratches.
Johnny Boychuk led all Isles players with six shots on goal and 23:38 of ice time.