The next time the Islanders take the ice at Barclays Center, the game will have meaning. But that’s next Friday. Tonight was a different circumstance as they finished up their home preseason schedule against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year, the Washington Capitals.
With cuts still being made, tonight’s game was an opportunity for guys like Ryan Pulock and Michael Dal Colle to give the coaching staff a reason to stick around at least for another week.
Sean Collins put the Caps on the board first after Greiss couldn’t get back in position to make the stop. The Caps cashed in on the power play when Andre Burakovsky put one five hole just before the midway point of the third period to make it 2-0. Kirill Petrov answered late in the third for the Isles, but it wouldn’t be enough as Karl Alzner iced the game with an empty net goal. The final score was 3-1 Washington.
Mathew Barzal, Scott Mayfield and Casey Cizikas were the three players with notable performances despite not getting on the score sheet. Thomas Greiss played a strong game in net stopping 22 of 25 shots.
With tonight’s result, the Islanders finished with a home record of 2-1 in the preseason at home, hopefully a sign of good things to come once the regular season officially gets underway.
A look ahead: The Islanders will practice for the next practice for the next three days before getting a day off Friday. During that time, expect GM Garth Snow and the coaching staff to make more cuts to get the roster trimmed down to their liking.
Jack Capuano’s bunch will play one more game down in our nation’s capital to end the preseason against these same Capitals this coming Sunday. There’s no doubt the starters play most of that game being it will be their final tune up going into the season. By then the roster should be finalized as to who will take the ice opening night.