For any team, playing three games in four nights is a tough challenge.
The New York Islanders are no exception to that rule, but that was not the reason they lost tonight. In fact, New York actually impressed me with its play tonight, having played that many games in such a short span.
The Isles had several scoring chances tonight, and were unable to find an answer to Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer, who stopped several legitimate opportunities to score.
In the end, it was New York's power play that lost this game. The Isles had six power-play opportunities, and ultimately cashed in on just one of them via Matt Moulson's sixth goal in his last three outings.
Despite getting some good looks in the Leafs' zone, the Isles were sloppy in their own end for much of this game, leading to several turnovers and eventually one of Toronto's goals, after Jack Hillen completely missed the puck at the blue line, setting up the Leafs in the Islanders' zone and allowing Clarke MacArthur an easy goal.
Phil Kessel broke the tie late in the third period, and New York was simply unable to respond.
There were some bright spots in this game, though. Matt Moulson was obviously one of them, scoring yet another goal (his 27th of the season). Bruno Gervais was the best defenseman on the team tonight, making several nice plays and breaking up a few of Toronto's would-be opportunities.
Additionally, Al Montoya was sensational between the pipes for the Islanders, making highlight-reel stops, seemingly at will. He is the sole reason why this game was close.
Montoya has been phenomenal since coming over in the trade from Phoenix, and is making a fair case for a roster spot next season with his current play.
On a sadder note, Milan Jurcina left with a groin injury after just one shift tonight. He has been logging big minutes and playing very solid defensively, so the Isles better hope he doesn't miss much time, if any at all.
The Islanders are now situated 12 points out of the eighth and final seed in the East, and they'll be looking to get back on track in their next game, when they take on the top team in the conference, the Philadelphia Flyers.
For now, the team just needs to put this one behind them and move on to the next one.
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