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The New York Islanders have finally completed their 13-game road trip and will play their first game at UBS Arena tomorrow night against the Calgary Flames.
The road trip was actually going quite well, up until the third period of their game against the Minnesota Wild about two weeks ago. They held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period but surrendered four goals in the third period to fall 5-2. They’ve dropped three more games since then, ending the trip with a 6-1 blowout loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
In those final four games of the trip, they were outscored by a ridiculous 19-4 margin. The skid has certainly set the team back, as the Islanders now sit at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division with a 5-6-2 record.
It’s not a huge reason for concern yet, considering how early it is in the year and how well the Islanders have performed at home over the last few years. But as they finally get back home, this is the time to start making up ground.
They’re facing more adversity now as well, with Ryan Pulock out for several weeks, while Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and Ross Johnston have been placed in COVID protocol. Essentially, they have to turn things around without two top-six forwards and one of their top defensemen. They also don’t have a particularly easy string of games coming up, as they take on the Flames (9-3-5), Toronto Maple Leafs (12-5-1) and New York Rangers (10-4-3).
The Islanders are in a very tough division and while we can maybe chalk up their poor last few games to fatigue after a lot of time spent on the road and a high quality of competition, they can’t afford to slip any further. Despite some key players out of the lineup, with the team returning home, they’ll have to find a way to start stringing some wins together.
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OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER
Islanders’ solid start on the road sets them up for success
Ilya Sorokin proving capable of Islanders’ starting role
Islanders trade Johnny Boychuk to Sabres
Islanders' point streak ends in Varlamov's return as road trip nears an end
Islanders fall 4-0 to Devils
Leo Komarov leaves Islanders, heading to KHL
Islanders fall to Lightning, have lost three straight games