TEMPE, AZ–The New York Islanders put forth a pretty terrible effort after getting out to an early 2-0 lead. They allowed the Arizona Coyotes to score late in the first and then again twice in 14 seconds in the middle frame to take a 3-2 lead. Despite the Islanders tying the game late in the second, lackadaisical play in the third led to an uninspiring 5-4 loss.
Here are the locker room reactions:
What Went Wrong For Islanders?
As mentioned, the New York Islanders got off to a strong start, but something happened that changed the course of the game–and it happened quickly.
“We just started losing battles” Matt Martin told NYI Hockey Now. “When they got the puck in the offensive zone, they have some talent on the backend and upfront, rolling around, making things confusing. The bottom line, it wasn’t a good enough effort.”
The Islanders took three penalties in the second period, and despite killing them off, it gave Arizona all the momentum.
“We got some momentum and then a lot of penalty trouble in the second,” Nelson said. “And then they kind of got everything going. They came at us pretty hard, and we weren’t very sharp and didn’t have much possession or attack in our game at the start of the second.”
Zach Parise could not quite put his finger on exactly what happened.
“I’m not sure what changed or why. I’m sure we’ll look at the tape and find out what the difference was or why they were able to grab a little momentum,” Parise said.
He explained that there was a significant momentum shift from the Arizona power play, even though the Islanders killed off all their opportunities.
“I thought they were able to grab some momentum off their power play. And then, you know, [the power play] felt like it got their top guys into the game a little bit, and then they started wheeling around in the offensive zone,” Parise said. “And so I figured, the sooner we can kill those plays and not let that happen, the less time we’re going to spend in our own zone and then the less chance for breakdowns or the less chance for some fluky goals like they got.”
Kyle Palmieri called it like it was.
“Yeah, I mean, the start was okay. We just took our feet off the gas,” Palmieri said.
“They get those two quick ones, and we just kind of never really got our footing. “There’s some good things but a lot of bad things.”
Late Hit on Palmieri in Return From Head Injury
Kyle Palmieri had missed the last 10 games for the New York Islanders with an upper-body injury, but you did not need a doctor to tell you that his injury was with his head, a likely concussion.
In his first game back, he was forced to enter concussion protocol late in the third after Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Ritchie hit him late, up high.
Ritchie hit on Palmieri, who is just back from a concussion pic.twitter.com/9TX29RCBNX
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) December 17, 2022
Ritchie received two minutes for interference, but it seemed like a targeted blow.
“Yeah, you don’t like that, and where we were on the bench, couldn’t really see the hit,” Martin told NYI Hockey Now. “You could see it and hear it, and then you see the replay. The refs make him go off the ice for concussion protocol, but they don’t want to look at the hit either, so it’s an interesting one. But I think he’s alright. Not a hit you like to see for sure.”
Parise was on the ice during the hit and gave his take.
“I saw the puck was in his feet, and then you know, I don’t know if he even saw Richie coming. I don’t know. I just saw his, Kyle’s head snapped back, and that’s what I saw on the replay. I didn’t see it happening live.”
Palmieri wouldn’t offer up much.
“Yeah, I finished the game. Not so much to say about the hit.”
Islanders Power Play Went 0-5
After going 0-3 on the power play in the 4-3 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Islanders went 0-5 against the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes continued to give the Islanders chances, and they got the looks with 14 shots.
The lack of production up a man was one of the primary reasons for the loss.
“Yeah, that’s one area that we always talk about wanting to win, the special teams game, and for them to get the one on us there and us not to respond with one, sometimes that can be the difference in the game and for us to have gotten that extra one tonight on the power play, who knows,” Palmieri said.
“I mean, there were some looks, but yeah, I don’t know. Our overall coverage wasn’t great,” Nelson said.