Islanders Insight’s Top Shelf: 4|24|15

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in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffsat Verizon Center on April 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Last night’s game just did not go the Islanders’ way, as they were outshot, outscored, and by the end of the game, outmanned. Calvin de Haan adds to the unfortunately large list of injured defenseman, becoming the third member of the six man defensive corps to miss some time in the playoffs.

With Lubomir Visnovsky out indefinitely and Travis Hamonic likely out for the remainder of this series and probably longer, an injury to another defenseman could not have come at a worse time. Now down 3-2 in the series,  Saturday will be very difficult for a weakened defensive team to fight off an elite offense, despite the fact that the game is being played on Long Island.

Jaroslav Halak had a strong first two periods, but started to unravel in the early stages of the third period, and ended up being pulled after allowing five goals on 35 shots. The fault does not completely fall on the goaltender, however, as he rose to the occasion on several occasions early in the game to keep his team in the game. The game could have gotten out of hand in the second period with the way Washington was playing, but Halak managed to fight off an onslaught and he does deserve credit for that.

The Islanders need to put this game behind them and get ready for Game 6. It will be a hard fought game, and New York will need to make the most of the home ice advantage. They will need to come out strong in what could end up being the last game ever at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, or a major era in New York sports will be coming to a sad end.

-Peter (@PJMcEntee)

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