Tuesday, April 19, 2016

N.Y. Islanders: Boisterous Barclays Crowd Celebrates Historic O.T. Victory

From the desk of:  FIVE FOR FLATBUSH

The First Ever NHL Playoff Game in Brooklyn
was an O.T. Thriller!

Islanders lead series 2-1
I - NYI 5; FLA 4
II - FLA 3; NYI 1
III - NYI 4; FLA 3*

Florida Panthers
New York Islanders
Flatbush Avenue

New York Islanders: Smells Like Team Spirit...

Chalk one up for Garth Snow ... whom was slighted last off-season for not having more prospects at the team's disposal.  His detractors argued Brock Nelson alone does not a youth injection make.

The Isles then proceeded to post their second straight 100 point season.

Just saying...

Now all of a sudden his 2013 draft choices are the latest rage.  That's when he selected defenseman Ryan Pulock with the 15th overall pick of the 1st round, and center Alan Quine in the 15th round.   This season he additionally brought in Ottawa's former 2011 2nd round selection, 23-year old center, and native New Yorker, Shane Prince.  None hadn't even appeared on the Islanders radar until late February.

But just like that, the Islanders had youth running wild in Barclays Center - but not before the Panthers took a crowd demoralizing 2-0 lead, scoring goals within the opening minutes of both the 1st and 2nd periods.

The three novices nevertheless helped keep the Islanders within striking distance of the Panthers until late in the 2nd period when the top line of Tavares-Nielsen-Okposo finally took over.

At 5:21, Ryan Pulock converted a power play to make it a 2-1 game.  However, the Isles sustained another punch in the gut when Florida scored just two short minutes later.  They regrouped, and just beyond the midway point Shane Prince cashed in a Pulock feed making it a 3-2 game.

Then at 16:12 of the 2nd, Florida got whistled for a rarely called clipping penalty.  Within a minute of the infraction Frans Nielsen netted the game tying goal off feeds from John Tavares and Kyle Okposo,

... and making the Flatbush Avenue Ice House rock like a Teen Spirit video.

However, the best for Barclays was yet to come, as they were additionally treated to their first ever playoff overtime.  The outcome officially became a thriller at the 12:31 mark when Thomas Hickey scored on assists from Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey, capping off a youth inspired comeback, and an important Game Three victory.

In the meantime, Flatbush Avenue roared.  Shortly thereafter they were having their performance commended by the players.  Both continue venturing into uncharted territory together Wednesday night in Game Four at Barclays Center.

  • Suffice it to say, Brooklyn's historic first ever NHL Stanley Cup playoff game was a hit.  The place was packed to 99% capacity - obstructed seats and all.
  • The Isles have solid efforts on the penalty kill to thank for their 2-1 series edge, after fending off 6 of 7 power plays through three games.  Their own power play was clicking, scoring two goals in Game Three, and going 3 for 9 to date.
  • The Panthers and Islanders have now scored 10 goals apiece.  Through three games, Thomas Greiss, 30 years old, has so far faced 115 shots, made 106 saves, with 9 goals allowed for a .922 Sv% and a 2.83 GAA.
  • The Islanders were correct to wear their traditional uniforms for Game Three.  The question is will they don their alternate Brooklyn black uniform for Game Four?

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