Islanders Drop 5 in a Row
When this compressed season began it was reasonable to expect there might be some oddities along the way. The Islanders have taken it upon themselves to be one such peculiarity; after leading the Atlantic division just over a week ago, they have now placed themselves firmly in last.
Coming off their third straight defeat in a game against the Rangers, the Islanders hosted New York’s other hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres.
Buffalo struck first with a goal midway through the first, but Tavares tied the game with under a minute to go. The second period followed a similar pattern, with the Sabres going up 2-1 twelve minutes in, then McDonald scoring at 17:35. The final period saw Buffalo take a 3-2 lead after seven and a half minutes, but this time the Islanders had no answer.
Nabokov blocked only 12 of 15 shots, whereas Buffalo’s Miller blocked an admirable 41 of 43.
The Islanders actually led for a large chunk of time against the Hurricanes last night. Nielson scored less than three minutes into the game, and Carolina could not tie for over ten minutes. Tavares retook the lead five minutes into the second and, though the scoreboard would read 2-2 shortly thereafter, Moulson put the Islanders on top 3-2 two minutes later.
Carolina scored again after 30 seconds of play in the final period, and that’s where New York began to fall apart. Five minutes later, the Hurricanes had their first lead of the night, which they padded before the Islanders could score again. Moulson brought the game within 1, but the night would end with Carolina scoring its fourth goal of the third period. The Islanders lost 6-4.
DiPietro guarded the net last night, blocking 25 of 30.
The Islanders will have their second meeting with the Rangers Thursday at 7 PM.
Rangers Play Lightning
Hagelin scored 31 seconds into the match to establish a lead which New York would not relinquish. Callahan added to it in the first before Hagelin scored his second goal halfway through the second period. The Lightning would score their only goal several minutes later; Asham and Nash combined in the third to end the game at 5-1. Lundqvist blocked 19 of 20 shots.
Following two dominant performances, the Rangers will play Boston at 7:30 tonight before heading to Uniondale on Thursday.
Nets Up and Down Again
The last time Brooklyn played San Antonio they were thoroughly trounced, losing 104-73. Now that the Spurs have the best record in basketball it might be unreasonable to think the Nets could win, but they gave a strong showing in the first half.
Taking advantage of an absent Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, Brooklyn established a ten point lead in the first quarter. The spread narrowed in the second, but they still entered halftime up 57-51. Unfortunately, San Antonio took control of the game in the second half, holding the Nets to a pitiful 29 points through the rest of the game. The Spurs scored more than double that, ending the night 111-86.
Tony Parker did most of the damage, with his game total matching Brooklyn’s combined second half offense. Johnson, Lopez, and Williams led the Nets, scoring 19, 18, and 15 respectively.
Brooklyn’s offense was marginally more productive last night, though it took an extra period to accomplish that task. In what amounted to a game of tug-of-war against the Pacers, the Nets lead 20-13 after a quarter before trailing 40-35 at the half. They came back to outscore Indiana 23-14 in the third only to be outscored again in the fourth. However, trailing 76-72 with 98 seconds left, Brooklyn scored the final four points of regulation to send the game into overtime.
The Nets took advantage of the extra time, outscoring Indiana 13-8 and winning the game 89-84.
Lopez had a good night, scoring 25 and grabbing 8 rebounds. Wallace posted a double-double with 11 points and rebounds, while Johnson scored 17 and Reggie Evans had 22 rebounds.
The Nets will play Denver tomorrow at 7:30 PM.
Knicks Lose to Clippers
While the Nets broke even to begin the week, the Knicks showed their own fallibility against Los Angeles on Sunday.
On a night in which Carmelo Anthony scored 42 points (which isn’t even a season high for him), the Knicks trailed by 5 after the first quarter and by 8 entering the half. They did outscore the Clippers 26-19 in the third to bring the game within one point, then took a 73-71 lead to kick off the fourth, but LA utterly decimated New York from that point forward. The Clippers held the Knicks to only another 15 through the rest of the quarter, while scoring 31 of their own to win 102-88.
Anthony’s 42 points were, of course, impressive, but Felton was the only other player of note with 20. No other Knick broke into double digits.
The Knicks will play their last game before the All-Star break against Toronto, tomorrow at 7:30 PM.