The New York Islanders had their chances against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, but their lack of finishing along with strong goaltending by Wild netminder Filip Gustavsson found them on the losing end, 2-1 in a shootout.
The Islanders are now 31-25-8 and currently sit in the top wild-card spot with 70 points and hold a one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have four fewer games played.
Anders Lee-Bo Horvat-Simon Holmstrom
Zach Parise-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Hudson Fasching
Ross Johnston-Otto Koivula-Josh Bailey
Adam Pelech-Scott Mayfield
Alexander Romanov-Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho-Noah Dobson
The New York Islanders carried over their strong start from the Winnipeg Jets win, but as the first period continued, the Minnesota Wild found their legs.
Five minutes after killing off a Zach Parise penalty, in which Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin made three saves, Josh Bailey capitalized on a loose puck, as he buried his seventh of the season to snap a 23-game scoreless streak.
— Isles on MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) March 1, 2023
“I think, all-in-all, it was a great play. Otto (Koivula) showing great poise. Johnston being at the net and then happy to finish it off,” Bailey said.
Scott Mayfield and Otto Koivula were credited with the assists, Koivula notching his first point of the season.
However, off a Noah Dobson defensive zone turnover, Ryan Reaves, who fought Ross Johnston earlier in the first, batted a puck out of the air to tie the game at one, his first of the season.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 1, 2023
The second period was not one that provided much action, with just 14 total shots. The Wild were all over the Islanders to start the middle frame, but Lane Lambert’s squad did a strong job keeping the dangerous Wild forwards to the outside, particularly Kirill Kaprizov.
The third period mimicked the second, as the Islanders seemed content with killing the clock and forcing the game to overtime, while the Wild did the same. The Islanders dominated in the shot category in the third, 14 to 10.
But after sixty minutes, the game remained tied, and the Islanders dominated the overtime frame, but Wild netminder Filip Gustavsson stood tall, stopping all five shots that came his way. He stopped 39 of 40 through regulation and overtime. Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin stopped 30 of 31 through regulation and overtime, with two saves in the extra frame.
The Islanders failed to score in the shootout (Simon Holmstrom, Bo Horvat, & Kyle Palmieri), while Wild forward Frederick Gaudreau scored the only goal in the Wilds’ 2-1 shootout win.
“Not scoring is not a great way to win shootouts,” Kyle Palmieri said.
Head coach Lane Lambert thought his team played incredibly well.
“We played good,” Lambert said. Really good. Lots of chances. Great structure. Good road game. Total compete. Really a fantastic game. It’s a shame we didn’t get two points. We deserved it.”
However, the Islanders “improve” to 0-5 in shootouts this season and Lambert had some strong words on the lack of scoring.
“They’ve got to find a way to score that’s all there is to it. We’re not scoring goals in the shootout. We’re not winning shootouts,” Lambert said. “They have to find a way.”
Jean-Gabriel Pageau has resumed skating back on Long Island, and his status is now day-to-day.
Mathew Barzal is still day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Pierre Engvall, who was acquired by the Islanders on Tuesday, will be on Long Island Wednesday. He will make his Islanders debut Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.