The Islanders came out like a house on fire. They took the play to Dallas right off the bat. Ryan Strome scored on the breakaway, 9:29 into the game, and it looked like the Isles were well on their way. They were firing pucks at Antti Niemi left and right. Unfortunately, many didn’t get through. But, the Isles really controlled play for the most part.
Things changed at the end of the first. With Calvin de Haan in the box for high sticking, the Stars would try to take advantage and even things up. It appeared as if the teams would go to the break with the Isles up 1-0. Unfortunately, the Stars had other ideas. With seven seconds left in the period, Jamie Benn beat Thomas Greiss to tie the game at one.
Things did not improve in the second for the Islanders, as they found themselves down 3-1 just past the midway point of the game. When all hope was seemingly lost, because the Isles just couldn’t get out of their own way, Andrew Ladd brought them within a goal with 5:11 left in the period.
We would go to the third with the Islanders down 3-2, looking for the equalizer. They wasted no time getting the tying goal. 25 seconds into the period, Nick Leddy rushed into the zone, and ripped one from the point. It took an Islanders bounce off of Niemi and into the net. Under a minute into the period, and we were all tied up at three.
The Islanders know that every point from here on in is essential, especially against a team that was a seller at the deadline. So, they put the pedal to the medal and took care of business. First, Dennis Seidenberg scored for the first time since November, to give the Isles their first lead since the first period. 104 seconds later Nikolay Kulemin gave the Islanders their first two goal lead of the night. It was a goal that was 90% Leddy, 10% Kulemin. Leddy went pretty much end-to-end, slid the puck to Kulemin, and he beat Niemmi to make it 5-3.
The Isles really seemed to have the game well in hand at that point. With the Stars on the penalty kill, and nothing to lose, they really stepped up the offensive push. It paid off when Jamie Benn beat Thomas Greiss with 2:51 to go to make it 5-4.
Despite a furious last minute flurry, the Isles managed to hold off the Stars, and take the 5-4 win.
Josh Ho-Sang looked very good in his first NHL game. Doug Weight was very pleased with his performance, saying he “looked good offensively,” and he was very “happy with his performance.” Weight old Shannon Hogan that he would go over the shifts with him, but he did not look out of place at all.
This was the first time all season the Isles have won on the road when trailing after two periods. At the very least, the Islanders have now pulled ahead of the Panthers, after they lost in a shootout. Toronto is still playing at the time of this post.
Isles will head to Chicago for game five of the nine game road trip, tomorrow night at 8:30 PM. No reason to expect any line changes.