It was a crazy game down in Orlando, but the Islanders managed to squeak out two points on the road thanks to Mathew Barzal.
This game saw everything from a star goalie in Roberto Luongo carried off the ice with an injury to Cal Clutterbuck needing to be held back from an official. The cherry on top was the 4-4 tie that couldn't be settled in overtime, and needed a shootout to determine a winner. Luckily for the Isles, Jaroslav Halak was a brick wall and Barzal was the only player to find the back of the net.
It was wild, but the Islanders will be happy leaving Florida with two points.
"It was kind of a crazy game," Barzal told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "I had a couple good chances in OT. We wanted that secon point and we got it."
It was the second period that saw all the action as Luongo, who looked to do nothing, couldn't get off the ice on his own at 2:31. The Isles would capitalize on a Thomas Hickey goal that gave them a 2-1 lead. However, things would get chippy and the Islanders suffered from it.
During a penalty kill, Cal Clutterbuck decided to jump in on an altercation with teammate Anthony Beauvillier. Referee Ian Walsh decided to hit Clutterbuck with a minor penalty, leaving the Islanders five-on-three. The Panthers would convert just after the five-on-thre ended, tying the game at two. But that wasn't the end to Clutterbuck's outburst.
Another scrum saw Clutterbuck in the middle of it, and he clearly wasn't over the minor penalty called. Clutterbuck, along with head coach Doug Weight, yelled at Walsh, and the referee hit Weight with a minor penalty and misconduct. That is when Clutterbuck tried to jump on the ice before John Tavares kept him at bay. The Panthers would convert on that power play as well, taking the lead.
"The second penalty was entirely my fault. I just lost my head there," Clutterbuck said. "The first, I'll never feel bad about that. It's a 20-year-old kid getting roughed up in the corner and I got grabbed the same way I grabbed [Trocheck]...I owe'em all a pat on the back. I was real happy the way we responded. But it's something I've got to make sure I don't do again."
Weight said it wasn't a smart penalty by Clutterbuck, but his actions made things even.
"It's not a good penalty, but let's just say I gave him a get-out-of-jail-free card," Weight said. "...I got everybody revved up on the bench. He and I will have a little serenity session on the plane and we'll be better."
The Islanders would fight and regain their lead with a goal from Tavares, and the team captain said the situation was nothing his team hasn't faced this season.
"It's really the way we've been all year," Tavares said. "We've been resilient and we haven't let anything distract us."
Despite the Panthers tying it up to force overtime, Halak totaled 39 saves, and that doesn't include him not allowing a single shootout goal to hit the net.
"He did just kind of reset," Weight said of Halak. "I loved his game after the [Barkov] goal. We've talked about how we need a save at the right time and he gave us a few of those, none bigger than the last one."
The Islanders stay in Florida as they take on the Lightning Tuesday, and whether it is crazy or not, they will continue to look for wins any way they can get them.