Follow me on Twitter: @BenShelley_20
Follow HockeyBuzz Islanders on Twitter: @HB_Islanders
The New York Islanders managed to escape Game 5 with a 3-2 road win over the Carolina Hurricanes last night, keeping their season alive.
Early in the opening frame, the Islanders ended up with a power play but accomplished basically nothing, and the first 10 minutes of the game favoured Carolina. However, it was New York who managed to open the scoring, when Brock Nelson found Pierre Engvall in front of the net, who slid the puck five-hole to beat Raanta – and finally give the Islanders a first period goal this series. New York ended up spending a lot of time in their own end afterwards though and Alexander Romanov took a penalty late in the frame. On the ensuing power play, Sebastian Aho found Stefan Noesen with a great pass at the side of the net to tie the game – but the Islanders challenged it for offside and caught a break, with the goal being called back. So despite being outshot 11-5 in the frame, they held the lead through 20 minutes.
Early in the second period, the Islanders were able to extend the lead off a goal from Brock Nelson, which he batted in out of mid-air after Pierre Engvall’s initial shot caught Sebastian Aho in the face. However, the Hurricanes kept pressing throughout the frame and despite the Islanders killing off a bad penalty from Cal Clutterbuck, later on, Paul Stastny got Carolina on the board with about seven minutes to go, deflecting in a point shot.
However, after a power play was negated by a Noah Dobson penalty, the teams went to 4-on-4, where Mathew Barzal ended up with the puck on a 2-on-1 and beat Antti Raanta, reinstating the two-goal lead through 40 minutes.
Despite the Islanders doing a pretty good job limiting chances to hold the lead in the third period though, midway through the frame, Seth Jarvis took the puck off Adam Pelech behind New York’s net and got it out to Sebastian Aho, who beat Sorokin to cut the lead to one. Carolina had control of the period afterwards and by the end of the frame, pretty much the last thee or four minutes of the game were played in the Islanders’ end. Despite being outshot 12-5 in the period though, New York held on until the buzzer, earning a 3-2 win.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Islanders stayed alive with the victory. They were outshot 36-22 overall and I don’t think there’d be much of an argument that the Islanders were the better team. They got lucky with the Noesen goal called back in the opening frame and Ilya Sorokin had to be good.
Regardless though, they got the win they needed. While they couldn’t make use of their own power play opportunities, they held Carolina off the board with their penalty kill going 4-for-4 (though the Noesen goal would’ve come on the power play).
The team also got contributions form both of their top two lines, which was a positive. Pierre Engvall registered his first goal (and assist) of the postseason, while Mathew Barzal netted the game winner.
New York didn’t play as well as they can, but this was kind of along the lines of the games we expected to see coming into the series (though maybe to a less severe extent). It seemed like the Islanders would often be outshot, but with the mix of Carolina's inability to convert along with Ilya Sorokin in net, it gave the Islanders an opportunity - and that’s exactly how last night’s game played out.
The Islanders now have a chance to tie the series on home ice in Game 6. While their performances have been inconsistent, they certainly still have a shot to take this series.
Game 6 at UBS Arena is set for Friday night.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM APRIL
Islanders lose both games of weekend back-to-back as playoff race tightens
Islanders keep playoff fate in their own hands with big win over Lightning
Islanders’ playoff fate comes down to final two games after win over Flyers
Islanders’ playoff hopes take a huge hit with loss to Capitals
Islanders luck out with Penguins’ loss, can clinch playoff spot tonight
Islanders clinch final playoff spot with win over Canadiens
Islanders to face Hurricanes in first round of playoffs
Previewing the Islanders’ first round series against the Hurricanes
Islanders fall short in Game 1, lose 2-1 to Hurricanes
Islanders fall into 0-2 hole after overtime loss to Hurricanes
Islanders explode late, defeat Hurricanes in Game 3
Islanders on brink of elimination following Game 4 loss to Hurricanes
3 keys for Islanders heading into must-win Game 5