R.I.P. Mr. LoFaso
On Friday night, your New York Islanders hosted the Calgary Flames. The Isles were going for the season sweep of the Flames and needed the two points to get back into first place in front of the New York Rangers.
Lee-Tavares-Bailey, Grabner-Nielsen-Strome, Kulemin-Nelson-Clutterbuck, Martin-Mouillierat-McDonald.
Leddy-Boychuk, Hickey-Hamonic, de Haan-Visnovsky.
Jaroslav Halak got the start with Chad Johnson backing up.
The Islanders meant business in this game and came out hard once again. The down side was that even though they had tons of offensive pressure and were resilient on defense, they had a sloppy game. The good news was that they would get the 2-1 win after Ryan Strome (Tavares & Hamonic) and Cal Clutterbuck (Kulemin & Hickey) scored for New York. In addition, John Tavares tied for the NHL lead in scoring in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.
The officiating could have been the story again in the game. The Isles saw Johnny Boychuk’s defensive recovery in the Islanders zone resulted in a penalty shot chance for Calgary and Michael Grabner’s breakaway was clearly interfered with but no penalty shot was awarded. Jaro Halak made the save and is 2/3 in his career by the way. Cal Clutterbuck clearly scored a legal goal that the officials waved off. But he would score the ENG to seal the eventual 2-1 win late in the third, so thankfully, everything worked out this time. Another unfortunate occurrence was that Jaro Halak (26 of 27 with a .963Sv%) was 20 seconds away from a shutout when Jooris scored. Halak also went for the empty net with just over a minute left in the game, but the Flames, Russel blocked the on target attempt. The Isles were 1/3 on the PP and 2/2 on the PK and outshot Calgary 39-27 in the game. Kari Ramo (37/38) was awesome for Calgary and deserves a mention.
Some standouts for New York were the play of the first line as a whole, but John Tavares’ assist put him in the lead for points in the NHL at 64. Michael Grabner looked good again on both sides of his game and Travis Hamonic continues to improve with less ice time per game and is +11 for the month. Ryan Strome does all the little thigns right and once again scored a huge goal for the Isles because of his greatly improving hockey sense and on-ice presence. Jaroslav Halak has been a major story for the Islanders this year and notched his franchise leading 33rd win (Smith, DiPietro, Osgood with 32) of the season already. The Islanders are 2nd in the east (41-20-2 in 63 gp) at 84 points (MON 85) and back to 1st in the metro division. Eric Hornick mentions, “Isles re-tied Nashville for NHL lead in wins -- 41. Isles first in East to 23 home wins as well. (Preds have 26).” Halak & Strome were named 1st and 2nd stars of the game.
NHL investigated alleged Clutterbuck spit on Sedin.