The New York Islanders came back to defeat the Nashville Predators by a score of 4-3 despite not playing their best game so far of this short season. The Islanders (2-1-1) have now won two games in a row and will continue their winning ways tomorrow against San José at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
The Islanders once again started off slow, but were able to get back as the game progressed. They learned last year on how to win these types of games by experiencing playoff hockey 2 out of the last 3 years and have learned that even if you don’t have your best game, you have to stick with your plan and things do work out. Last night was a good example.
Nashville (3-1-0) outshot the Islanders by a count of 17-7 in the first period, when the Predators took a 1-0 lead. It also doesn’t help matters when Islanders defenseman Marek Zidlicky scores on his own team, but that’s the kind of night the Islanders were in for. The Predators led 2-0 after a mad scramble to the goal line until Filip Forsberg got control of the puck and scored. That’s when The Isles woke up. A mere 42 seconds later, Tavares fed Anders Lee in the crease and Lee tapped it in o cut the deficit in half. After both teams sent players to the sin bin, Kyle Okposo scored on a semi breakaway to tie the game up at two. Nikolay Kulemin scored the game winning goal when a Brock Nelson shot took a friendly bounce off the boards and Kulemin shot the puck past Nashville’s goalie, Pekka Rinne. Tavares would add the extra goal for safe measure.
Personal Observation: The Islanders now have a 5 goals in the third period so far this short season while only giving up 3. That’s a positive to fans because as I stated before, this team knows it takes 60 minutes (or more) to win a hockey game. To see the Isles come out flat again is a little worrisome. It’s your fourth game, second one in a row at home and they start sluggish. Win or lose I’m still looking for that “complete” game from the Isles. The Predators stated that this was their best game of this short year, yet end up on the losing side. The Islanders did get a few bounces to go their way and they even game one to the Preds to start the game, but there will be times when the puck won’t bounce the Islanders way like it did and the effort has to be better starting from the opening faceoff.