Shorthanded Islanders drop UBS Arena opener to Flames

Opening up new houses don’t appear to be the New York Islanders’ factor.

A 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night time offered an inauspicious begin to life at UBS Arena for a staff that misplaced its earlier openers by scores of 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum 49 years in the past and Barclays Heart seven years in the past.

It additionally extends the Islanders’ dropping skid to 5 straight video games.

The end result was nearly anticipated contemplating president and common supervisor Lou Lamoriello introduced simply two hours earlier than puck drop that second-line winger Anthony Beauvillier together with defensemen Adam Pelech and Andy Greene joined Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, and Ross Johnston throughout the NHL’s COVID protocols. Simply one other blow for a staff that additionally misplaced defenseman Ryan Pulock for four-to-six weeks due to a lower-body damage.

It pressured the Islanders to trot out a weakened lineup that featured NHL debuts for defensemen Robin Salo — a prime prospect — and Grant Hutton, each of whom had been known as up from Bridgeport to complement the losses on the blue line.

However Brock Nelson’s two objectives stored the Islanders in it for a majority of the night in an admirable effort, although his aspect was perpetually enjoying catch-up when his second purpose early within the third interval drew the Islanders inside one.

Regardless of outshooting the Flames 14-7 within the remaining body, the Islanders had been unable to beat Jacob Markstrom to draw stage, opening the door for 2 Calgary empty-netters within the remaining 1:15 of the sport to skew the scoreline.

New York’s weakened squad managed to outshoot the Flames 36-31 on Saturday night time, however particular groups haunted them. The Islanders went 1-for-6 on the facility play whereas the Flames had been 2-for-4 — a transparent difference-maker.

The guests scored the first-ever purpose at UBS Arena 4:05 into the sport when Matt Martin’s spinning clearance try — an pointless maneuver with clear ice forward of him — despatched a cross in entrance of Semyon Varlamov’s purpose proper to the stick of Brad Richardson, who went in alone and simply slotted a wrister into the again of the online.

They doubled their lead with 6:42 to go within the body on the facility play — shortly after killing off a second Islanders man benefit — when Andrew Mangiapane deflected some extent shot previous Varlamov, who was meandering the opposite method.

Calgary continued giving the Islanders probabilities, although, committing two extra penalties through the first interval alone. The ultimate one of many body lastly offered a breakthrough as Brock Nelson — off a slick helper from Richard Panik in his season debut — roofed a wrister over Jacob Markstrom with 22 seconds left within the interval.

It was initially waived off, however replays rapidly confirmed that Nelson’s shot hit off the digital camera at the back of the online earlier than clanging out.

After developing empty on a fifth energy play early within the second, a Zdeno Chara hooking penalty swayed momentum again towards the Flames, who cashed in on their man-advantage 6:43 into the second interval — Noah Hanifin’s shot from the purpose beating Varlamov.

Nelson nabbed his and the Islanders’ second simply 1:49 into the third interval, instantly injecting life right into a UBS Arena that had snoozed via the second. He was gifted a golden likelihood on the doorstep after a Flames defender swatted the puck into his path proper in entrance of Markstrom. One flick of the wrist was all of the staff’s main scorer wanted for his ninth of the season.

It sparked the Islanders’ strongest push of the night time as Zach Parise got here tantalizingly shut with a pair of likelihood in entrance simply moments later earlier than Kyle Palmieri labored out a harmful likelihood of his personal in entrance — all to which Markstrom turned away.

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