Islanders defeat Ducks in seven to become Stanley Cup champions
The New York Islanders defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 at Honda Center in Game 7 to become the 2021-22 Stanley Cup champions, ending a 39-year drought since they last raised the Lord Stanley Cup in the 1982-83 season.
Stanley Cup Recap
Islanders shock Lighting to win series in seven
Mathew Barzal returned a loose puck into a trip to the Stanley Cup Final as the Islanders blanked the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 at Amalie Arena in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Only 1:19 into the game, Barzal used a backhanded shot to return a rebound for a goal, and it was all New York needed. Semyon Varlimov took care of the rest, going on to stop 18 shots by the Lightning.
New York shocked Tampa Bay with a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in Game 1, then went on to take a 3-1 series lead before the Lightning responded with 2 wins to even the series. The Islanders opponent in the Stanley Cup Final will be the Anaheim Ducks who were the 4th-seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
STANLEY CUP PREVIEW
The Islanders will face the Ducks in the Stanley Cup Final. During the regular season, New York won both meetings (3-2, 2-1 OTW). The Ducks leading scorer in the playoffs has been C/LW Trevor Zegras (18 GP, 10 G, 7 A, 17 PTS). Goalie John Gibson carries a 2.68 GAA into the series.
Flyers just a speed bump for focused Islanders
The Islanders kept up their amazing playoffs run by eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers after a 3-0 Game 5 victory at Wells Fargo Center. Jean-Claude Pageau’s goal 13:47 into the first period was enough to send New York into the next round, but Mathew Barzal’s 2nd of the playoffs in the third period provided insurance. Both goals were score during a power play.
Winger Joel Farabee led the Flyers in the playoffs with 6 points and 6 goals. Claude Giroux, who was the regular season points leader for the team with 76 points, was a no-show, finishing with just 3 points, and 2 goals. Goalie Corey Hart had a decent postseason (2.47 GAA, .21 SV%) but the Flyers’ offense ranked near the bottom in scoring (2.20 GFPG).
ISLANDER RIDING STRONG MOMENTUM
New York heads into the Eastern Conference Final with strong momentum. Josh Bailey, Matthew Barzal, and Ryan Pulock are tied with 8 points, while Bailey leads with 5 playoff goals. Goalie Semyon Varlimov’s GAA dropped significantly against the low-scoring Flyers — down from 3.07 to a 1.92 GAA.
Islanders knock out 2nd-seed Penguins
The Islanders advanced to the semi-finals after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 in Game 6 to win the series 4-2. New York got goals from Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, and trade-deadline pickup RW Jack Roslovic.
Video: Islanders close out Pittsburgh
For the series, defenseman Ryan Pulock led New York with 6 points, 5 assists, and one goal. Mathew Barzal finished with 4 points, 3 assists and a goal. Goalie Semyon Varlamov struggled in the net, allowing 3.07 GPG and was pulled in one for backup Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin appeared in 3 games and posted a 1.43 GAA.
The Penguins failed to play up their 2nd-seed status and didn’t get much production out of team-star Sydney Crosby who scored just one goal on 24 shot attempts. Tristan Jarry posted a 2.97 GAA for the series after finishing the regular season with a 2.77 GAA. Teddy Blueger was the leader in scoring with 3 goals.
Islanders finish strong to earn the 7th seed
The Islanders (45-32-5, 95 pts) capped their regular season with a huge win, taking down the Eastern Conference leaders, Tampa Bay by a 5-3 final. New York’s penalty kill was solid, not allowing a goal on four Lighting power plays. RW Josh Bailey scored twice with his second goal breaking a 2-2 tie 12:27 into the final period. New York widened the lead to 5-2 before surrendering a late goal with seconds left in regulation.
The win over Tampa Bay was the fourth straight for New York who went 7-6-1 in April. It also solidified their 7th-place finish — three points ahead of the Capitals, and one point behind Philadelphia. Islanders’ center Mathew Barzal finished way ahead of his teammates in points (82), and scored 31 goals with 51 assists. He fell 3 points shy of tying his career high 85 points tallied in the 2017-18 season. LW Anders Lee finished second in points (58) and rung up 6 GWG.
Goalkeeper Semyon Varlamov finished the regular season with a 2.83 GAA (ranked 19th). He hovered around that GAA much of the season and recorded just one shutout. The Islanders offense will need to be unstoppable to compensate in the postseason.
- April 3 – Islanders snaps 5-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over New Jersey
A good start ends with a crash, but playoff hopes remain alive
The Islanders had reason to feel confident. They won 8 of 10 games before the Trade Deadline. After the deadline, that confidence was shaken when they won only one of the last six games. The last two games were huge disappointments — back-to-back losses to last-place Blue Jackets. The lone victory in the last 6 games was against the Ottawa Senators. Despite the setbacks, the Islanders will head into the final month of regular season in 5th-place, 6 points ahead of 9th-place Washington. What’s ahead:
- A tough 7-game road trip kicks off April for New York who are 17-13-2 away from UBS Arena.
- LW Anthony Beauvillier returns to the lineup May 3rd after spending time on the injured list with a fractured ankle.
Trade Deadline Moves by New York
- Islanders acquired RW Jack Roslovic and C Valtteri Filpupul from Columbus for D Cale Fluery
- Islanders acquired C C. Blackwell, a 2023 3rd Round pick (ANA), 2023 3rd Round Pick (CGY) from Seattle for 2022 2nd Round Pick (COL), 2022 3rd Round Pick (NYI)
March game notes
- The Islanders rallied from an 0-2 deficit to come back and defeat the East leading Penguins 4-2. Beauvillier’s 14th of the season 9:49 into the 3rd period gave New York their first lead.
- LW Anthony Beauvillier suffered a fracture ankle and is expected to miss the rest of March and all of April. He had played in 59 games, scored 39 points (15 goals, 4 GWG, 24 assists). The Islanders may now be an active Buyer at Trade Deadline.
Islanders move into 6th, but injuries could slow pace
The Olympic break produced a limited NHL schedule in February. The Islanders (29-20-3, 61 pts) played only 4 games and won 3 of them which allowed New York to climb a spot in the East standings to 6th-place. They’ll begin a packed March schedule with a 7-point lead over 9th-place Carolina. Three players will begin March on the injured list:
- LW Josh Bailey, MCL sprain, returning March 27
- C Casey Cizikas, mild concussion, return March 2
- RD Noah Dobson, broken rib, return March 25
Despite dip in Barzal’s production, Islanders climb a spot
January was filled with highs and lows, but in the end, the Islanders (26-19-3) won more than they lost and stayed in the hunt for a playoff spot as the 7th-place team in the East. New York went up against 4th-place Philadelphia twice and took both games, but were not so fortunate in two games against Edmonton, losing both meetings. One of the largest margins of victory came against the Blue Jackets who the Islanders crushed 6-0. (January results)
Video: Beauvillier wins it in overtime vs Flyers
Mike Barzal’s pace slowed, earning 11 points (lowest for a month thus far), but overall, the Islanders increased their goals per game average to 3.02 (up from 2.88). Unfortunately, goalkeeping took a dip. Semyon Varlamov’s GAAPG went up 10 points to 2.82 and as a team, the Islanders fell in GAAPG ranking to 13th (down from 4th).
Islanders in the hunt for a playoffs spot
Mathew Barzal raised his season points total to 35 after racking 16 points in December. His performance helped the Islanders (19-13-1) to go 9-4 in the month, rising 2 spots in the standings to 8th-place in the Eastern Conference. New York has benefited from Montreal’s collapse who fell 6 spots (5th to 11th) — and Carolina slipped from 8th to 9th place. (Around the League Report)
Two key wins came against top 8 clubs. On the 19th, the Islanders blanked the Golden Knights 3-0, then defeated the Canadiens two days later in overtime by a 4-3 final. New York’s success against top teams ended later in the week when they lost the the Capitals.
The Islanders saw improvement on defense. Semyon Varlamov (16-10-1, 2.62 GAA) raised his game, cutting 14 points off his goals against average.
New York inches up standings
The Islanders capped the month with a win over the Flyers and improved to 10-9, good enough to finish in 10th place, just 2 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York did well on the road, winning at Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. They also defeated a top 3 team, dealing the Maple Leafs an overtime defeat on the 21st.
Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey leads the team in scoring with 19 points, while goalie Semyon Varlamov (9-7-0, 2.76 GAA) hasn’t dazzled but is playing good enough to keep the Islanders in games.
Slow start, but Islanders hopeful
The New York Islanders (2-5-0) began their season on a sour note, losing the first three games before earning their first win, 4-2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets. A second win followed (4-1 vs Arizona) before things went back into the tank — finishing out the month with two more losses (vs VGK and NSH).