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Rapid Reaction: Islanders Can’t Spoil Woodcroft’s Debut, Fall 3-1 to Oilers

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New York Islanders

The New York Islanders fell 3-1 to the Edmonton Oilers in the first of a back-to-back. The Islanders move to 18-17-6 on the season, 8-8-3 on the road.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Cody Ceci gave the Edmonton Oilers a 1-0 lead with 56.6 seconds to play in the first period. His seeing-eye shot from the point beat New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin glove side. His second goal of the season was assisted by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Zach Hyman gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead as he beat Sorokin glove side on an odd-man rush. Connor McDavid recorded the only assist, his fortieth, on Hyman’s 14th of the season at 10:17 of the second period.

Anthony Beauvillier cut the Islanders deficit to 2-1 with under five minutes to play in the second period. While on the power play, Beauvilier’s shot beat Mike Smith glove side. Ryan Pulock and Josh Bailey were credited with the assists on Beauvillier’s eighth goal of the season.

Jesse Puljujarvi gave the Oilers a 3-1 lead as from his knees, he beat Sorokin through the legs while on the power play at 9:14 of the third period. McDavid and Draisaitl were credited with the assists on Puljujarvi’s 11th goal of the season.
<h3 class=Another Strong First Period

Despite not scoring five goals like they did on Wednesday, the New York Islanders had four lines rolling yet again early on Friday.

Although the Islanders ended the first period down 1-0, they outplayed the Oilers by a good margin. The Islanders registered 19 shots on Edmonton Oilers netminder Mike Smith, the second-most first-period shots for the Islanders this season.

10 of the 19 Islanders registered shots with Zach Parise, Ryan Pulock, Anders Lee, and Mathew Barzal each with

The Islanders forecheck was impeccable, and the passing was the strongest the Islanders have displayed this season, especially on the power play to generate chances.
It was just another example of not capitalizing.

Mike Smith Battles in Goal, Shuts the Door

For Mike Smith, the start against the New York Islanders was his third straight start. The 39-year old has not been great this season and, in his last start, received a sarcastic round of applause from the Oilers crowd after Edmonton went down 2-0 early to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Although it did not look pretty from time to time, Smith was called upon early and often. His play allowed the Oilers to take the lead, build on it, and collect two points.

In the second period, Smith denied Casey Cizikas on what would have been the tying goal.

Smith stopped 18 shots in the first period, 9 of 10 in the second, and all 10 in the third period for a total of 37 of 38. He stopped all nine high-danger chances that came his way.

Anthony Beauvillier Finding Confidence in New Role

When New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz switched up his lines, he moved Anthony Beauvillier to the fourth line. And that move paid dividends right away as that line scored two goals in Wednesday’s 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Anthony Beauvillier added another element of speed to that line as he chased down loose pucks. He also added offensive skill, and despite the lack of goals this season, it led to one of the two fourth-line goals on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Beauvillier looked even stronger.

The fourth line forechecked hard all game long, and Beauvillier played a major part in that strong play.

On Casey Cizikas’ semi-breakaway in the second period, Beauvillier’s play in the defensive zone led to the breakout and scoring chance.

Beauvillier did score on the power play, and although it was not 5 on 5, it showed simplicity in his game. That’s the kind of style of hockey he’s had to play on the fourth line, and it seems to be affecting Beauvillier’s decision-making.

GAME NOTES:

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz kept his lines from Wednesday as Cal Clutterbuck played to the right of Mathew Barzal on the top line. Anthony Beauvillier stayed on the fourth line, and Ross Johnston remained alongside Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey.

Kyle Palmieri was a healthy scratch after joining the team in Edmonton on Friday following a few days not on the Islanders NHL roster (Paternity). Sebastian Aho served as the seventh defenseman for Thursday’s contest.

WHAT’S NEXT: The New York Islanders will face the Calgary Flames on Friday at 9 PM ET