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Notebook: Isles Get Point in 5-4 Shootout Loss to Canucks

Brock Nelson scores twice, but Islanders winless streak reaches seven games

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / NewYorkIslanders.com

The New York Islanders earned a point on Tuesday night, but saw their winless streak reach seven games, as they fell to the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 in a shootout at Rogers Arena. 

J.T. Miller scored the game-deciding goal in a shootout, sending the Isles to a loss despite their best offensive output in seven contests. The Isles scored four goals for the first time since Feb. 23 - their last win - and peppered the Canucks for 49 shots. 

Brock Nelson, who had a pair of goals, said he felt like the Isles were getting close to busting out of their winless streak after a pair of overtime/shootout losses, but close was just not enough on Tuesday. 

"It seems like we're close, but we just have to find that puck or that play that is going to get us over the hump right now and turn it around," Nelson said. "It seems like everything is stacked up against us a bit… We did a lot of good things today, I think we're close."

Video: Condensed Game: Islanders @ Canucks

Andrew Ladd and Jordan Eberle also scored for the Islanders, while Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves. Adam Gaudette, Tyler Toffoli, Zack MacEwen and Bo Horvat scored for an equally-desperate Vancouver team, who got a 45-save effort from Thatcher Demko. 

With the shootout loss, the Isles (80 points) are one point back of the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets for the final two playoff spots. Head Coach Barry Trotz was asked if it was a good point, or not enough after the game. 

 "Good point," Trotz said. "You have to take every point. You worry about the points you can get. Obviously we put a point on the board tonight and we'll just have to try to get another point or two next game. Keep doing that and we'll look up after 82 and see where we are."


Video: NYI@VAN: Eberle buries backhander inside far post

ISLES AND CANUCKS BATTLE BACK AND FORTH: 

Tuesday's game started off with a bang, as the teams combined for three goals in the opening 2:41. Ladd's first goal of the season - and first since Oct. 30, 2018 - put the Islanders ahead 1-0, but the Canucks answered back 21 seconds later, as Gaudette tipped an Alex Edler shot past Varlamov. Vancouver struck again 44 seconds later, as Toffoli finished off a three-on-two rush by snapping a shot past Varlamov at 2:41. 

The teams reigned in the goals after that, but the pace of the game stayed fast for the opening frame, as the Isles outshot the Canucks 17-14. The Isles best chances came on a 37-second first period five-on-three, but they were unable to convert, thanks to six bigtime saves from Demko.

Eberle eventually tied the score, cutting into the slot and beating Demko with a backhander at 19:01. The goal was Eberle's 16th of the season, but in a theme throughout the evening, the Canucks had a quick reply, as MacEwen made it 3-2 at 2:14 of the second period

Nelson notched the game at three with his first of the evening, catching a couple Canucks defensemen flat-footed, jumping on a loose puck and beating Demko with a short-side backhander at 17:00. Again, the Canucks came back, as Horvat finished off some pretty passing for a power-play goal at 17:51. 

Video: NYI@VAN: Nelson splits defenders, finishes backhander

Nelson tied it again at 4:32 the third period, batting in a rebound at the side of the net just as an Isles power play expired. This time the Isles kept the Canucks from answering, though they survived a few close calls, as Miller and Jake Virtanen each hit the post late in the third. 

The Isles controlled possession for nearly all of overtime, but couldn't solve Demko, while Varlamov made a game-saving stop on Quinn Hughes late. Miller scored the lone goal of the shootout, as Eberle, Mathew Barzal and Ladd all came up empty. 

"We were chasing it all night and we stayed with it," Trotz said, while also complimenting his team's overall commitment. "It came down to a shootout." 


BAILEY LEAVES GAME: 

Josh Bailey left the game in the first period and did not return. Trotz did not have an update after the game. 


Video: NYI@VAN: Nelson fires loose puck in for second goal

NELSON TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 26TH GOAL: 

Brock Nelson set a new career-high in points on Tuesday night, recording his 54th of the season. That beats his previous career-high (53), set last season. Nelson also tied his career-high in goals on Tuesday night, netting his 26th of the season. Nelson previously scored 26 goals in the 2015-16 campaign. 


Video: NYI@VAN: Ladd redirects Bailey's one-timer in front

LADD SCORES FIRST OF THE SEASON: 

Andrew Ladd scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday night, deflecting a Josh Bailey point shot past Thatcher Demko 1:36 into the contest. Ladd was playing in his fourth game of the season, as the veteran winger had spent a majority of the season in Bridgeport. 

The goal was Ladd's first since Oct. 30, 2018, as he missed the bulk of the 2018-19 season to a pair of knee injuries. 

"It's fun to be back in that room playing with those guys and contributing," Ladd said. "Hopefully we can get it going in the right direction here and string a few wins together here. I'm confident if we play like that every night we'll get the result."


NEXT GAME: 

The Islanders four-game road trip continues on Thursday night when they take on the Calgary Flames at 9 p.m. eastern. 

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