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"New York Isles"
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After beating the Calgary Flames on Monday night, the Isles had a tough back to back approaching. They would play the defending cup champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, then the following day, they would play the defending President's Trophy champs, the Washington Capitals. Fans knew that this determined the year, a win in one and a loss in another, not looking good. A win in one and a point in another, good shape. But, they did the unlikely, the defeated both teams, BOTH in regulation.

We start with the Pittsburgh game, The Islanders were clearly outplayed and sent out Thomas Greiss for the start as Halak, headed to DC earlier in the day. From the start of the first period, the Penguins came out flying, just keeping the Islanders in their own zone for majority of the period. Shane Prince rang the chimes twice in the first period, nearly giving New York a 2-0 lead. Phil Kessel had a breakaway, but as Greiss usually does in the skills competition and breakaways, he turned it aside. The Barclays Center was rejuvenated with energy and the fans were behind them, screaming"Lets Go Islanders". The game was nationally televised on NBCSN and last time the Isles played nationally, they got blown out 6-1. Also, Boomer and Carton called the game on the radio on WFAN and WRHU, with some hilarious play by play from Craig Carton. The Penguins were incredible until the final minute of the period when Johnny Boychuk rifled one past Murray with 12.5 seconds left in the first. The Isles kept their foot on the gas in the second when Jason Chimera and Casey Cizikas got some insurance goals to give the Isles a 3-0 lead. A 3 goal lead is the worst lead in hockey, and the Penguins knew that and came all the way back in the final period to tie the game, starting with a goal from Conor Sheary.
In the blink of an eye, the Isles season was hanging in the hands of Crosby and the champs or Tavares and the slumping Isles. It looked OT, again, but Mr. OT Thomas Hickey shot one from the blue line and Anders Lee tipped it home. Isles lead 4-3 with 36 seconds to go as the Barclays Center erupted. Murray went to the bench for the extra attacker and off the faceoff, Nikolay Kulemin, closed the door, giving the Isles a 5-3 lead. Lee and Kulemin scored 2 goals in three seconds tying the NHL record with the Minnesota Wild (2004) and the St. Louis Eagles. (now the Blues).

After that wild win the Isles had a date with the Washington Capitals just 24 hours later. Jaroslav Halak, was well rested since November 23rd and got the nod in our nations capital. Like the Pens, the Caps came out flying and scored with 0.1 seconds left. Or..... so they think. It was waved off as the puck crossed the line after time expired so it was tied at nil after one. The second period consisted of back and forth hockey as Casey Cizikas got a breakaway and was just robbed by Braden Holtby, who won the Vezina Trophy a year ago. At the start of the third, the Isles took a penalty and the Caps put Rocket Richard winner Alex Ovechkin out there. As you can tell, this team is pretty stacked. The Caps had all the momentum until Cizikas chipped a puck over to Shane Prince and he scored to give the Isles a 1-0 lead. Moments later, Brock Nelson scored and former Capital Jason Chimera scored to give New York another three goal lead. This time they held on, Isles shutout the Capitals 3-0 and beat two off the best teams in hockey in just over 24 hours. Halak stopped all 38 shots he faced.

The Isles are in good shape as the December schedule continues on Sunday with the Detroit Red Wings.

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Filed Under:   Islanders   Pesek   Greiss   Halak   Capitals   Penguins  
December 7, 2016 4:30 PM ET | Delete
Go Isles!
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