Well, that was interesting. It certainly looked like the Leafs were going to get a win and the Isles fans were going to be very disappointed. The idea of “Why can’t they beat the teams they should?” was thrown around quite a bit as the Isles were down two to zip to start the third period. They lost Leddy who did not return for the third. So Jack was down to five D and had to be a little creative.
But the Isles were up to the task. Let’s start with Tyler Kennedy, making his Islander debut, puts the Isles on the board at the 1:32 mark of the third. He wasn’t even sure if it went in. It did. Now, let’s hope that’s not the last goal of his Islander career.
Toronto’s JVR upped the game by scoring at 6:06 of the third. Like the Isles needed that. But the Isles got a break with David Booth in the box for holding and Frans Nielsen gave the Isles one back at 9:58 of the third. He breathed life back into his team and at the 10:28 mark, Casey Cizikas evened up the score at 3. Travis Hamonic had his second assist on the same shift.
But he didn’t stop there. It was Hamonic’s play to exit the zone and quick thinking to get the puck to JT as the Overtime stanza was counting down. Using his strength and creativity, Tavares danced around the defending Leafs, found a hole and got just enough of on the puck to send it trickling over the goal line past Bernier. To be honest, if he hadn’t, Kulemin was there to try his luck.
It was JT’s second point of the game and his fourth overtime win of the season and his proud parents cheered with the rest of the crowd who may not have all been Islander fans, but they were overwhelmingly Tavares fans. Tyler Kennedy was awarded an assist on the goal as well giving him a two point night.
Bailey also had a two point night with assists on Kennedy’s goal and Nielsen’s. He now has 22 assist points. Not too shabby, but then again look who he gets to play alongside.
Jack Capuano did his postgame with headphones and without Shannon Hogan. He admitted his team didn’t play well the first two periods, but were resilient in the third. He wouldn’t make any predictions about Leddy’s availability for tomorrow’s game against the Rangers, but said it’s never good when a player doesn’t return for the next period. He was happy with Tyler
Kennedy’s play and said he was what they were looking for.
So the Isles now have 43 wins on the season which is the most since they had 50 in ’83-’84. Of course they do. It’s the last season in Uniondale. This is what they wanted, this is what the fans deserve. Now, let’s see if they can put a little more distance between themselves and the Rangers tomorrow night.