The Islanders began their season with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Hurricanes at PNC Arena. This was the first game for many different things for the Islanders. Such as their first game without John Tavares, their first game with Barry Trotz behind the bench, and their first game with Anders Lee as the captain.
Overall, the Islanders did not play a great hockey game. Thomas Greiss made 45 saves on 46 shots to give the Islanders their first win. Greiss was by far the best player on the ice for both teams tonight, and it supports Trotz’s decision to start him in net. On the other hand, the Islanders in front of Greiss were in their own end a lot. They only posted a total of 20 shots on Petr Mrazek all night and did not have many scoring chances besides the goals.
In the first period, the Hurricanes came out fast, but Greiss was able to turn away everything. This allowed the Islanders to get their feet under them, and start to get chances themselves. Overall, it was a pretty even period that didn’t see any goals.
The second period was the best period that the Islanders played by far. They had the most chances during this period, and at the 9:27 mark, Valtteri Filppula was able to score his first goal as an Islander. There was a good turn over on the near boards that came free, and Filppula was able to move around Mrazek and put it five hole.
The Hurricanes controlled the entire third period. Finally, with 1:35 to go, Jordan Stall was able to score with the goalie pulled to send it to overtime. One of the biggest plays of the game was with 3.6 seconds left in the third by Mat Barzal. As usual, Barzal carried the puck around the Canes zone looking for a chance, and was able to draw a tripping penalty. This penalty gave the Islanders the opportunity to win the game.
The Islanders sent out Lee, Bailey, Barzal, and Pulock to start the OT period on the powerplay. Once they gained the zone, Barzal was able to later make a great cross ice pass for Bailey who provided the one timer goal top shelf.
However, if last season is anything to go by, most Islanders fans know that this will not hold all season. Greiss has his good games, but he also has his bad ones. Hopefully Robin Lehner can provide some support as well once it gets later into the season. The Islanders also need to fix the shots on goal number. Last season, the Islanders were amongst the worst in shots against per game, and they won’t have much success if that continues to be the same.
The Islanders definitely have things to fix but for now, fans can be happy for their team with the win. Now they head to Barclay’s Center to play the Nashville Predators in their own home opener on Saturday.