Saturday, April 18, 2015

Islanders Blow 3-1 lead, drop Game 2 to Caps

CAPITALS 4 - Islanders 3 
Series tied 1-1

The New York Islanders had a great opportunity in front of them. And in a lot of ways they still do. However, New York held a 3-1 lead after Kyle Okposo scored his first goal of the series in the second period, and it looked like the Isles would be on their way to a shocking 2-0 series lead.

Just the idea of New York heading back to the old Coliseum in Hempstead, Long Island with a 2-0 series lead in front of thousands of rabid Islander fans who have not seen playoff success in a generation, with this being the final postseason run for the old building. It was a dream only Hollywood could write.

Then, like a shooting star that 3-1 lead was gone. That potential 2-0 series lead was gone. And now New York has a series that is undefined at 1-1.

The Capitals came back with three straight goals to steal the game away. It started with Washington's leader, Alex Ovechkin who scored with a little less than four minutes to go in the second period to cut the Islander lead to 3-2.  It then snowballed in the third period as Nicklas Backstorm and Jason Chimera scored two goals in the first seven and a half minutes of the third period, stunning the Islanders.

New York never recovered. They managed only seven shots on goal in the final period, and 21 shots for the entire game. Washington, by comparison, had 35 shots on goal in Game 2.

If the Islanders are indeed serious about taking full control of this series, and winning it, they need to show some great perseverance when they hit the ice in a couple days on the Island. Blowing a chance at a 2-0 series lead can be devastating, it is up to this young Islanders team to prove that such a loss isn't a fatal one. Even with the series tied at one there is a great opportunity in front of the Islanders right now. They will be playing at home for three of the next four games of the series - their fans will be ready to rock. The Islanders need to be ready too. In the playoffs there is not time to dwell on past mistakes, there is only time for the next game.

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