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Islanders blow 3-goal lead against Rangers in Stadium Series, lose in OT

February 19, 2024, 1:08 AM ET [139 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The New York Islanders suffered their third straight loss today, blowing a three-goal lead in their Stadium Series game against the New York Rangers, before falling in overtime.

It was a tough start for the Islanders, with Erik Gustafsson’s point shot getting through a screen to beat Ilya Sorokin early on, leaving New York down under two minutes into the game.

However, following a big fight between Matt Martin and a debuting Matt Rempe, the Islanders managed to pressure for some good chances in the minutes that followed, before Brock Nelson beat Igor Shesterkin with a good shot to the glove-side, quickly tying the game. Then only minutes later at 4-on-4, Noah Dobson sprung Bo Horvat down the wing, and Horvat snuck a shot through Shersterkin, putting the Islanders ahead.

The Islanders weren’t done there, and only 14 seconds after taking the lead, Brock Nelson found Mathew Barzal for a tip-in, to put the Islanders up 3-1 on a power play goal.

It was about as good of an opening period as you could’ve asked for, with the Islanders outshooting the Rangers 18-7 through 20 minutes.

Then under a minute into the second period, Anders Lee managed to tip-in a shot from Pierre Engvall, extending the lead to 4-1. The Rangers did respond about five minutes later on a power play though, with Artemi Panarin putting a shot through a screen and off Vincent Trocheck’s stick, which got past Sorokin.

Despite the Islanders once again outshooting the Rangers in the middle frame, Trocheck then managed to cut the lead to one with just minutes to go in the frame, lifting a puck over Sorokin in-close.

The Islanders responded early in the third period though, getting a lucky bounce when Noah Dobson’s point shot got right to Alexander Romanov, who reinstated the Islanders’ two-goal lead.

However, the Rangers were able to build some momentum throughout the period, as the Islanders fell into penalty trouble. Then with the Islanders killing a penalty with under five minutes to go and the Rangers with their net empty, Chris Kreider managed to tip a shot from Artemi Panarin past Sorokin, cutting the lead to one once again late in the game.

Scott Mayfield then took a penalty shortly after, giving the Rangers a golden chance to tie the game with a little over two minutes left. With the goalie pulled once again, Adam Fox found Mika Zibanejad for a perfect one-timer to beat Sorokin, tying the game and sending the contest to overtime.

Then only 10 seconds into the extra frame, Noah Dobson committed a disastrous giveaway right to Panarin, and despite Dobson knocking the net off, Panarin’s shot crossed the line and the goal stood, giving the Rangers a comeback win.

Once again, the same two issues that have been at the forefront of the Islanders’ season came into play, being burned by yet another blown multi-goal lead, and a terrible penalty kill.

The Islanders put together a great first period and strong first 40 minutes overall, controlling the play for much of the game to that point. But the Rangers started to come alive near the end of the second period, before the Islanders shot themselves in the foot by giving up three power plays in the final 10 minutes of the third period. The Islanders actually outshot the Rangers 6-4 at even strength in the third period, but trailed 16-6 in shots overall, given how much time they spent killing penalties. Three of the five goals allowed came on Rangers’ power plays, highlighting the impact of the Islanders’ league-worst penalty kill yet again.

So once again, the Islanders give up points they desperately need, now increasing their overtime/shootout loss tally to 14 games this season, which leads the NHL. They may have picked up a point, but they’re continuing to slip further out of playoff contention.

Obviously, the Dobson turnover was awful, but the fact that the game even got to overtime deserves a lot more focus, in my opinion. It’s a bad ending to what was otherwise a promising game for the Islanders, which unfortunately follows a similar story to so many of their other losses to this point. It also reinforces that even with a new coach, the same issues are continuing to persist for this team.

In a small positive, it was announced today that the Islanders will host the 2026 NHL All-Star Game.

The team will be back in action on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they desperately try to remain in the race for a playoff spot with 28 games remaining.


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