It was Islanders 2-Rangers 1 in the first hockey game for both teams in over four months. The Islanders worked hard and earned a vintage Barry Trotz-win over their rival.
Although the shot count was low and the Islanders went 0/5 on the power play, the team looked really good tonight. They had possession of the puck for a majority of the game, and the puck movement looked great.
The defense looked solid as well, allowing minimal scoring chances and forced the Rangers to keep shooting from bad angles. Andy Greene and Noah Dobson played amazingly, perhaps making Barry Trotz consider playing them over Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk in the postseason.
The only critique you can make is that the Isles over passed on plays, which cost them a lot of scoring chances. If they just shot the puck when they had the chance, this game could have been more high-scoring.
Anthony Beauvillier opened up the scoring in the second period with a short side snipe on Igor Shesterkin. Late in the third period, Derick Brassard made a beautiful play, flipping the puck over the Rangers defense to Devon Toews, who ripped one far side on Henrik Lundqvist to give the Isles a 2-0 lead. This play was similar to the Adam Pelech-Mat Barzal connection against Columbus from earlier in the year.
However, the Rangers came right back with a goal from Filip Chytil, just over 40 seconds later. The Isles held on to defeat the Rangers 2-1. With the goalie pulled, the Rangers did not garner many chances against the Islanders suffocating defensive system. With Adam Pelech back in the lineup, the team looked a lot better.
Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss got to see some playing time in tonight’s game; however, Varlamov looked the best, stopping all 19 shots faced, while Greiss stopped 7/8 shots.
With Varlamov playing two periods and Greiss only playing one, it looks as if Barry Trotz is leaning towards starting Varlamov in the qualifying round. Not to mention, he made an unbelievable save that was the play of the night.
If Semyon Varlamov plays like this in the postseason, it will be a fun few months! pic.twitter.com/cAgLpAnk3g
— Drive4Five (@Drive4Five_) July 30, 2020
NYI 2-NYR 1
Shots: NYI 22-NYR 27
Power Play: NYI 0/5-NYR 0/3
Faceoff %: NYI 62.5-NYR 37.5
Next Game (Also Game of the Month)
August 1, 2020
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers
Florida Panthers vs NY Islanders
2019-20 Game of the Month Record