The Recap: The Islanders came away with a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
New York was first to get on the scoreboard. Josh Bailey recorded his third goal of the year to put the Islanders up 1-0. The Oilers answered back five minutes later, despite the Islanders outplaying them for much of the period. Former number one draft pick, Taylor Hall, scored two goals in the span of eight seconds. Hall broke an Oilers’ recorded for fastest goals scored, which was previously held by Wayne Gretzky.
The Islanders battled back and Kyle Okposo scored on the power play, courtesy of a beautiful setup by John Tavares and Matt Moulson. After killing three consecutive penalties, Tavares rewarded his teammates effort by scoring the go ahead goal with 1:07 left in the second period.
The Isles held out in the third to secure their third win of the season.
– There was a lot of good for the Islanders, especially the resilience the team showed after giving two goals in eight seconds. The breakdown was bad, but the fact the team rallied back was a very encouraging sign. The Islanders could have simply gotten down on themselves and never recovered, but instead stuck with the game plan and they were rewarded for it.
– Speaking of rebounding from mistakes, the Islanders bounced back from Tuesday’s deflating 4-3 shootout lose to Buffalo. The Isles had a very similar situation as Tuesday going into the third period. They had a one goal lead, but unlike on Tuesday the Islanders did not let the extra point slip away. The team kept their attack going and did not allow the Oilers many chances to tie the game up.
– The Isles physical play against Edmonton was a big part of the win. They were not afraid to throw their body around or finish their checks, which rattled the Oilers and forced them to make several turnovers in their own zone. That style of play is what made the Isles so tough to play against late last season and in the playoffs.
– Individually several players had strong performances, most notable Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo. Both players got on the stat sheet Thursday night and both are continuing to have a good season so far. Okposo is starting to mesh well with John Tavares and Michael Grabner — though Capuano hinted that the top line could change — and looked very strong on the puck. Bailey showed off a bit of his stick handling ability during the win and continued to work well on the Isles second line.
– The Islanders penalty kill unit had a superb game as well tonight. After taking three consecutive penalties in the second period, the special teams unit managed to fend off the Oilers, keeping the to eight shots on three man-advantages. With the game tied at two, shutting down three straight chances for Edmonton to regain the lead was huge, to say the least.
– There weren’t a lot of bad things from the Isles Thursday, but allowing two goals in eight seconds has to count in this category. Understandably, sometimes things like that happen to a team, but it is a situation that has the ability to swing the momentum of the game in the wrong direction. It’s not something the Islanders can afford to have happen again, especially against a higher caliber opponent.
– Also the team needs to avoid take penalties one after another. The Isles got a break since their PK unit did what it needed to do, but against a tougher opponent things might not go so well. There is only so many times a team can give their opponent an opportunity like that before they capitalize on one of them.
Next Game: Saturday, October 20th, Vs. Carolina Hurricanes