ELMONT–The New York Islanders, after an impressive win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday, took a step back as they fell 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens in a shootout on Sunday. The Islanders move to 18-20-7 on the season, 10-10-4 on home ice.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Montreal Canadiens took the lead at 9:01 of the first period as Jeff Petry’s point shot snuck through a screen and then through New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin. Petry’s third of the season was assisted by Brett Kulak and Ryan Poehling.
The New York Islandes tied the contest up at 1 on the power play as Kyle Palmieri jumped on a loose rebound for his fourth of the season. Zach Parise and Josh Bailey were credited with the assists on the tying goal less than 1:30 into the second period.
The Canadiens took a 2-1 lead with 1:10 to go in the second period as Josh Anderson beat Sorokin short-side. Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield were credited with the assists on Anderson’s 10th of the season.
Brock Nelson tied the contest at 2 with 2:57 to go in the third period as he beat Hammond through the legs for his 17th of the season. Kieffer Bellows and Sebastian Aho were credited with the assists.
Rem Pitlick’s shootout goal, the Canadiens second shooter, credited with the game-winner.
Islanders Weak With The Puck
The New York Islanders gave up the first goal for the 11th time in 12 games. The energy that was on display against the Boston Bruins on Thursday did not carry over as the Montreal Canadiens, despite being outshot, seemed like a team fighting for a playoff spot rather than a team with just nine wins on the season.
Again passing was an issue and an inability to come through on opportunities stifled the offense. Whether it was on an odd-man rush or just in the defensive zone, the lack of crisp passing made transitioning an issue.
The Islanders committed 22 giveaways in the contest and were rather fortunate to get a point. Sebastian Aho led the Islanders with four, followed by Jean-Gabriel Pageau with three.
Bellows Continues Strong Play
Alongside Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier, Bellows again looked to shoot every chance he could.
Right off the bat, he had two strong shots on Montreal Canadiens netminder Andrew Hammond.
On the Islanders tying goal late in the third, it was Kieffer Bellows who made a small play, which turned into a big play as he chipped the puck into the Canadiens zone, which created the chance for teammate Brock Nelson.
LOUD NOISES. pic.twitter.com/JfywcrbcJP
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 20, 2022
Bellows finished the contest with an assist, four shots, two hits in 12:30 TOI.
Palmieri Back in Goal Column
After a two-goal performance against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, Kyle Palmieri had a three-shot, six-hit performance against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Against the Montreal Canadiens, Palmieri’s power-play goal early in the second period tied the contest at one.
Palmieri off the rebound! pic.twitter.com/4qzx6sdb1V
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 20, 2022
Palmieri had just one goal in the first half of the season but now has three goals in his three games since the All-Star break.
Hammond Wins First Start Back in NHL
It had been four years since Andrew Hammond started a game in the NHL and it had been a long road back. But on Sunday, he was back in the NHL and made his first regular-season start since March 28th of 2018.
He played in three playoff games for Colorado that season and since then had bounced around, playing for the Iowa Wild (Minnesota), Rochester Americans (Buffalo), then back to Iowa.
On February 12, the Montreal Canadiens acquired Hammond from the Wild as they have had a hard time in goal this season. Carey Price has been injured, Cayden Primeau has struggled and they needed a backup for Sam Montembault.
In Sunday’s contest, Hammond stopped 31 of 32 shots through regulation and overtime, including two of three shots in the shootout. He stopped 11 of 12 high-danger chances.
Quotes: Josh Bailey, Scott Mayfield, Brock Nelson, Kyle Palmieri, and Barry Trotz
“You’re gonna have those games. I think you just got to stick with it. It’s not always going to go according to plan. I think we’re obviously a team that, you know, when we can find a way to get that lead we’re confident in holding it and doing what needs to be done. You know, so, again, we stuck with it. We found a way to get the one (point). Obviously, it’s not what we were looking for tonight, but we’ll take it and move on to the next one.”–Josh Bailey
“Yeah, I like how we battled in the third to get that one. But when you play from behind, it could be tough. But, you know, we should regroup and find a way.”–Scott Mayfield
“It’s obviously harder when you dig yourself a hole and have to try and generate and manufacture offense. Teams are up, you know, teams can kind of clamp it down a little bit more. So with that being said, thought we did a pretty good job in the third. We had a good mindset, try and win a period to give ourselves a chance. We had quite a few looks, stuck with it. It took a while to get one, but we got one.”–Brock Nelson
“I mean, obviously we want to get off to good starts. It’s not like we go into it and just see how it goes. We try and get to our game right away. And we actually had some decent shifts to start, just one ended up finding its way in our net early and that’s a little deflating. But it’s up to us to kind of just go right back after it and I think it’s one of those things that, you know, getting the first goal is big. But I mean, yes, you want to be playing the right way and give yourself the best chance in the first.”–Kyle Palmieri
“If I did, I’d be selling it to every team you know, in the league because it’s just…I think our mindsets there, we’re ready to play. We haven’t had the you know, some of the puck luck or, you know, some of the finish. I thought today at times, a little cute where you know, sometimes you got to throw it in the mixer a little bit, which I mean the slot area and we’re looking for that, you know, that lateral play and that’s not really us. You know, sometimes we try to get too fine and when we get to fine, we don’t get a lot done.”–Barry Trotz
Josh Bailey was back in the lineup after missing the New York Islanders contest against the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Oliver Wahlstrom (day to day, upper body) missed Sunday’s contest. Kieffer Bellows played for a second straight contest.
Semyon Varlamov (COVID-19) is still in protocol as Cory Schneider backed up Ilya Sorokin.
WHAT’S NEXT: The New York Islanders will face the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday at 10:00 PM ET