Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
The Islanders held a 2-0 lead going into the third period — an all to familiar situation — when the Oilers scored two goals in the final frame to force overtime. Sam Gagne forced a neutral zone turnover in overtime and drove to the net. His shot deflected off the stick of Taylor Hall and into the net to pull off the come from behind win for the Oilers.
“I think our young guys struggled,” Islander Coach Jack Capuano told MSG Plus after the loss. “Right before Travis’s penalty that line had a tough shift. You should always be in support as a low centerman there and I know we got walked, and gave them momentum. They scored on that and then obviously in overtime we mismanaged the puck.”
The Islanders opened the scoring on a short handed goal by Frans Nielsen at 9:58 of the first period. Cal Clutterbuck and Nielsen started a two-on-one rush and Nielsen blasted a shot past Oilers’ starter Ben Scrivens. Anders Lee made it 2-0, redirecting a shot from the point past Scrivens.
The score would remain 2-0 until the third, when the Islanders started to let the game slip away. Through two periods they were the better team and outshot the Oiler 23-14 in that span.
But Edmonton scored two goals in the third period and Hall scored the overtime winner to hand the Islanders their fifth loss in their last eight games.
“We shut them down for most of the game.I don’t know, we played solid and it was just a couple of breakdowns,” said Calvin de Haan.
Thursday’s game began a stretch where the overall outcome of games does not really matter, rather players are playing for jobs next season. Rookie Anders Lee understands that and has stepped up to the challenge.
“It’s a huge opportunity,” He said. “We have a chance to come in here and try to make a difference and try to make a positive impact. You don’t get too many of these [opportunities] and you wanna take full advantage of it.”
The Islanders have a quick turn around after Thursday’s loss; They take on the Calgary Flames on Friday night in Calgary.