NEW YORK – It took a shootout to decide a winner on Monday, but it was the St. Louis Blues who came away victorious in the end.
The Islanders rallied in the third period to eliminate a two-goal deficit, but failed to convert in the shootout. Attempts from Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored both regulation goals for St. Louis, found the back of the net and Jake Allen stopped Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier.
In regulation the Blues’ star forward spun around Jordan Eberle and fired a backhander underneath Islanders’ starter Thomas Greiss at 9:38 of the second period to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Tarasenko’s second goal came on the power play at 15:34 to put the Blues up by two.
The Islanders penalty kill unit couldn’t clear the puck out of their zone and Tarasenko fired a shot from the left side faceoff circle that went in.
Andrew Ladd kick started the Islanders late game comeback with a goal at 13:04. Ladd’s shot beat Jake Allen on his glove side as Brock Nelson screened him. Anders Lee scored the tying goal with 59.2 seconds left in the game by sliding the puck past Allen from in front of the net.
The Islanders have points in two of their first three games this season and begin a three game road trip in Anaheim on Wednesday.
1. Give the Islanders credit for making something happen in the last 10 minutes of the game. The team managed to salvage a point after failing to convert on a six power play opportunities, including 1:22 of a five-on-three advantage. Before that Ladd goal it looked as though the Islanders were going to be shutout for the second time in three games.
2. The Islanders inability to convert on a double minor called on Robert Bortuzzo and then a subsequent five-on-three advantage should haunt New York. Yes, the Islanders mounted a comeback, but in a scoreless game they had the chance to get on the board first. It also continued the Islanders scoreless drought on the power play.
The Islanders are 0-for-10 through the first three games of the season. The power play did create some opportunities and put pressure on Allen at times, but it also was stagnant at times and couldn’t do much at other times on Monday.
3. “We just have to get shots. Anytime you have an extra man out there getting shots to the net it causes chaos and you can settle it down and get another good one and good opportunities. It’s when we hang onto the puck a little bit too long and refuse to get the puck to the net it’s when they can set up in their box and kill the penalty.” — Anders Lee on the power play.
4. Islanders head coach Doug Weight seemed to agree with that assessment saying, “they all have good hands and they like to use them a little too much right now.” Part of the Islanders power play problems has been the players desire to use their skill a little too much at the moment. Instead of going with the simple play, they are trying to be too cute with the puck. As Lee told Islanders Insight after the game, “sometimes it just has to be sloppy & get the puck to the net.”
5. Anders Lee found himself in the perfect spot in the final minute of the third period. A shot from Thomas Hickey at the point was stopped by Allen and Lee was right there all alone to clean up the rebound. Lee is no stranger to scoring from in close and that was a good example of why you don’t give him that opportunity to do that against you.
“We all know our roles in a six-on-five,” Lee said. “We got guys that are in the corners and digging the pucks and getting it out high. I just played my role and [Eberle] and [Hickey] made a great play up top.”
6. There were fans in the stands giving it to Thomas Greiss a little bit after he let in the second goal. It’s tough for me to put much blame on the shoulders of Greiss considering the complete effort he had on Monday. And Greiss all but kept the Islanders in the game after they fell behind 2-0 and mounted their comeback. He finished the night with 33 saves on 35 shots.
Greiss made a game-saving stop on Jaden Shwartz in the final minute of overtime and then got some help from the crossbar on a shot from Alex Pietrangelo. He had another big stop early in the third period on Vladimir Sobotka to prevent the Blues from pulling away with the game.
7. The two sides of Josh Ho-Sang’s speed and skill were on display during Monday’s shootout loss. One one side there is the Ho-Sang who can create plays and draw penalties, which he did twice against St. Louis. On the flip side Ho-Sang can, on occasion, hold onto the puck a little too long and can over handle the puck, which was also seen early in the game on Monday.
There is going to be a learning curve for Ho-Sang as well as rookie Mathew Barzal. Both players did some good things and some not so good things on Monday. Weight plans to sit down with them on the plan to Anaheim.
8. “We have a nice five and a half hour plan trip. I’ve got about 15 minutes with each of them, and it will probably be 30 with each of them, and they’re going to continue to learn. They’re good kids, they’re good players and they earned their spots. Even when you’re playing those good lineups at the end of preseason this is big boy hockey. That’s a great defensive core over there, even without a couple guys in the lineup. They’re big, they’re long, they’re smart and they’ll figure those things out. I think they got better as the game went.” — Doug Weight on Ho-Sang and Barzal.
9. Monday was the first time the Blues have beaten the Islanders at home since 2015. It was also their first win at Barclays Center.
10. “We’re playing some good hockey teams and you have to be good both at home and on the road to be a playoff team, and have success in this league. Look forward to spending some time with one another. Obviously been here on Long Island pretty much for a month, so good to get the group together and enjoy California. And obviously we have to play some good hockey and get some results.” — John Tavares on upcoming road trip.