The New York Islanders drop their second in a row to start off the season. The final score was 2-1 in favor of the Washington Capitals.
The New York Islanders have struggled against the Capitals ever since the two teams met up with each other in the playoffs a couple years ago. They looked outmatched against Washington last year and the narrative continued tonight.
To no surprise Thomas Greiss got the start as Jaroslav Halak got the night off so he could go for the home opener tomorrow. Mathew Barzal also made his NHL debut.
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Similarly to Anthony Beauvillier there were definite growing pains shown, but their talents were put on display as well. Barzal took three penalties in the game, which is never good. The second one was a bad rookie mistake.
He was coming out of the box after serving a two minute slashing penalty and took another penalty as he played the puck while still standing in the box.
That’s something that he will learn with experience. His play making abilities were put on display during the power play. The Islanders struggled in the first game on the power play, but Barzal showed flashes on the PP unit.
The Isles even got a power play goal out of Ryan Strome who surprisingly went back to a wing position. In the off season the Islanders made it clear that they were trying to play Strome at his natural position of center. That lasted all of one game before he was back on the wing.
We raised this question, half joking, but what are Strome’s expectations this year? He certainly needs to play better than he did last year but was 50 points a fluke? It’s something that will be looked at all season long.
As for the Capitals they got two goals out of Daniel Winnik. Winnik just had six goals all of last year and he had two tonight, which was rather surprising.