New York Islanders Highlights: Isles Struggles Continue As Anaheim Ducks Clinch Playoff Berth


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Islanders Highlights

The New York Islanders struggles continued Saturday afternoon, as they were defeated at Nassau Coliseum by the visiting Anaheim Ducks. The Islanders have become a disaster at home, as they have a 0-6-1 over their last seven home games, and are 2-6-2 overall in their last 10 games.

Their struggles cannot be pinpointed on any one thing, but one area that has become a concern again is backup goalie. At the trade deadline, the Islanders picked up Michal Neuvirth hoping he would relieve some of their problems, but he has been a mitigated disaster since coming to New York.

Neuvirth made his fifth start with the Islanders Saturday, his first since March 17th, and things went poorly once again. The Islanders were actually the more aggressive team offensively, attempting 31 shots compared to 24 for the Islanders. Unfortunately for the Islanders, even with facing less shot attempts, Neuvirth still allowed more shots to get past him. He made only 21 saves on 24 attempts, for an ugly 87.5 save percentage.

That moves Neuvirth’s record with the Islanders to 1-3-1, with an 88.9 save percentage. That cannot be encouraging for the Islanders, who will more than likely need to ride Jaroslav Halak a lot more than they intended to down the stretch run of the season. Their recent struggles haven’t helped, by Neuvirth has not delivered as the Islanders had hoped he would when they acquired him.

The Islanders offense this afternoon was very disappointing, as the Ducks Frederick Anderson had been struggling mightily leading into Saturday’s game. He had an 86.5 save percentage in his last five appearances, but stepped up against the Isles. Anderson made 29 saves on 31 attempts, getting an important win for the Ducks as they clinched a playoff berth with the victory.

Anderson and the Ducks were especially strong in the second period, when the Islanders had four power plays but were unable to put any in the net. Patrick Maroon, Matt Beleskey, Cam Fowler and Francois Beauchemin all had penalties but they didn’t end up hurting the Ducks.

The Islanders on the other hand didn’t commit any penalties in the game, and also registered more hits as they were the aggressor all afternoon, but it didn’t result in the most important thing; a win.

The scoring was started by Rickard Rakell, his eighth of the season, and was assisted by Patrick Maroon. The Islanders responded later in the period, as Lubomir Visnovsky netted his fifth of the season, as the goal was assisted by Ryan Strome and Thomas Hickey.

The Ducks then took control in the second period, as Kyle Palmieri scored his 14th of the season, and Andrew Cogliano also put home his 14th. On Palmieri’s goal, Beleskey got an assist along with James Wisniewski, and Fowler got the assist on Cogliano.

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Cogliano’s goal ended up being the game winner, as the Islanders’ fourth line came through with a goal in the third period. Casey Cizikas scored his eighth goal of the season. It was unassisted, but it was too little too late as the Islanders weren’t able to come all the way back.

While the Islanders didn’t lose any ground in the race for Metropolitan Division crown, as the New York Rangers lost to the Boston Bruins, they are now tied for second in the division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have one game in hand on the Islanders and the Rangers have two. The Islanders need to get back in the win column and will have a chance to so right away, as they finish the second part of a back-to-back tomorrow evening against the Detroit Red Wings.

Next: Who was the best Islander of 2014?

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