When you haven’t won a game in regulation for 16 games, it might be tough to pick out the losses that sting the most. Still, Tuesday’s defeat has to rank high for the floundering New York Islanders.
Frans Nielsen gave the Isles a 2-0 lead midway through the third period, yet things slipped away late in the game. Valtteri Filppula scored two goals – one with about three minutes left, the tying tally with a brutal four seconds remaining – to send the game to OT. The Islanders eventually fell short 3-2 in the shootout, prompting Evgeni Nabokov to provide New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple with this dour quote.
“We don’t know how to win the games right now,” Nabokov said. “All our efforts [go] down the toilet.”
(Head coach Jack Capuano was … less verbose.)
Here’s video of that late goal:
The Islanders only have one win in December (3-2 in shootout on Dec. 10) and just five wins overall since November rolled around. At this point, one might need to grasp at straws (two straight games with a standings point!) to find positives.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.