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The New York Islanders dropped the second half of their back-to-back set yesterday, falling 6-2 against the Boston Bruins.
The Islanders found themselves behind early with another slow start. They gave up a goal two minutes in, managed only six shots in the opening frame, and ended up down 3-0 after 20 minutes.
Despite getting one back from Kyle Palmieri in the second frame and actually putting together a better period, another trio of goals from Boston left the Islanders completely out of the game through two periods, on route to a 6-2 loss.
The other major issue: Mathew Barzal was injured early in the first period and didn't return. We still don't know the status of his injury but based on a call-up for Arnaud Durandeau, he may be out on Monday, which would obviously be a huge loss.
Coming off a big win over the Penguins, any momentum the Islanders had quickly vanished. While the game against Pittsburgh was far from a strong outing for New York, at least they got the job done and in a stretch of crucial games, it would’ve been great to see some sustained success. But to come out with such a slow start against the Bruins was frustrating, once again being forced to chase the game, even if it was against a good team. Semyon Varlamov let in some goals that he just really couldn't afford to allow, but it’s hard not to be disappointed with the loss.
It’s kind of been one step forward, two steps back for the Islanders lately. After a couple strong games after the All-Star Break, they followed up the two wins with three losses against non-playoff teams. Then after a comeback win over the Penguins, a blowout loss against the Bruins just kind of sets New York back to square one.
While the Islanders are keeping pace with the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers, the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and even Ottawa Senators have a ton of games in hand. The stretch of games isn’t getting much easier for New York, either. Their last five games of the month all come against teams currently in playoff spots, but they somehow need to find a way to win most of them.
It’s not likely, but we’ll see if they can keep their playoff hopes alive on Monday, as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM FEBRUARY
Analyzing the Bo Horvat trade
Islanders sign Bo Horvat to eight-year contract extension
Islanders hold off Flyers in Bo Horvat’s debut
Islanders shut out Kraken, sweep back-to-back set
Looking at the Islanders’ path to the playoffs
Islanders suffer third period collapse in loss to Canucks
Islanders’ playoff hopes hanging by a thread as difficult stretch begins
Islanders battle back against Penguins for much-needed win