NHL Final: New York Islanders 6, Vancouver Canucks 3
1st Period 1-0 New York – Zach Parise (4) – Noah Dobson (3:25) Even Strength
1st Period 2-0 New York – Brock Nelson (15) – Adam Pelech (3:43) Even Strength
1st Period 3-0 New York – Anders Lee (12) – Ryan Pulock, Cal Clutterbuck (3:56) Even Strength
1st Period 4-0 New York – Casey Cizikas (4) – Anthony Beauvillier, Zdeno Chara (13:11) Even Strength
1st Period 5-0 New York – Mathew Barzal (11) – Anders Lee, Cal Clutterbuck (16:19) Even Strength
1st Period 5-1 Vancouver – Oliver Ekman-Larsson – (4) Unassisted (18:56) Even Strength
2nd Period 5-2 Vancouver – Elias Pettersson (13) – Vasily Podkolzin, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (13:04) Even Strength
2nd Period 5-3 Vancouver – Luke Schenn (3) – Brad Hunt, Conor Garland (14:35)
3rd Period 6-3 New York – Matt Martin (2) – Casey Cizikas (14:19)
Among other things, it’s called getting shelled. Jaroslav Halak played 16:19 of the 1st period before getting yanked and replaced by Thatcher Demko. So much for a little rest for the Canucks number-one goalie, who come to think of it, probably didn’t want any in the first place. Nor did he need it after playing just 10-minutes of 3-on-3 All-Star hockey during the past week.
A back-to-back set of starts for Demko wouldn’t have been a crazy notion Wednesday night against the Isles, but standard operating procedure and the desire to keep both goalies sharp ruled the decision.
Not that this was entirely Halak’s fault. He made two big pad saves in the first two minutes of the game, one of them on an Islanders 2-on-0 rush. An omen of the team’s bad period that followed.
Halak did appear to give up on Cizikas’s goal and had no chance on Barzal’s.
Demko will start Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena in a must-win situation.
Vancouver Canucks Push
Vancouver moved a bit of momentum off their late first period goal into the 2nd and carried the play throughout, which included two power play opportunities. Both of their second period goals came at even strength.
Isles goalie Ilya Sorokin came up with some timely saves, including a huge kick-save on a JT Miller slot-shot in the final minute.
Simmer’s Vancouver Canucks 3 Stars:
3) Thatcher Demko – Made just one save in the first after replacing Halak, but made a couple of biggies mid-2nd and his mere presence boosted his mates.
2) Conor Garland – If hockey is entertainment, which it is, then the “Gnarly One” was a star simply for his showmanship and stick-handling.
1) Elias Pettersson – He’s back, but it might be too-little-too-late to have enough impact on a playoff run.