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Loss to Oilers leaves Isles with ‘sour taste’

Eberle’s former mates pull out 2-1 OT victory at Barclays Center

November 8, 2017 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Goaltender Thomas Greiss and defenseman Nick Leddy can only watch in anguish Tuesday night as Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid celebrated his game-winning goal in overtime. AP photo by Kathy Willens
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Jordan Eberle admitted that it was a bit strange to be playing against the franchise he had spent his first seven NHL seasons with Tuesday night in Downtown Brooklyn.

“It was really weird, to be honest,” the 27-year-old Saskatchewan native said.

But the former Edmonton winger did manage to score a goal against the Oilers, albeit in a hard-to-swallow 2-1 overtime loss for the Islanders in front of 12,281 fans at Downtown’s Barclays Center.

“I don’t think it was for a lack of chances,” Eberle said of New York’s second loss in three games.

“There were odd-man rushes back and forth, but sometimes it’s just how it works,” he added. “Last game you look at the quality of chances we had, and somehow we were getting bounces off legs and stuff, so you need to find a way to get it.”

Eberle, who came to the Brooklyn-based NHL franchise via a trade for Ryan Strome on June 22, netted his fifth goal in the past five games for New York, accepting a slick feed from fast-emerging rookie Mathew Barzal and beating Cam Talbot to the far-right post with a quick snap-shot at 4:43 of the second period.

The goal knotted the contest at 1-1, but despite outshooting Edmonton, 37-25, for the night, including a whopping 13-2 advantage in the third period, the Isles couldn’t get another shot past Talbot, who finished with 36 saves.

Team captain John Tavares had a golden opportunity early in the overtime. But his feed across the ice to Barzal resulted in a whiffed shot, leading to an easy goal on the other end for Oilers superstar Connor McDavid, who ended the 3-on-3 competition by beating Thomas Greiss on a brilliant breakaway at the 38-second mark.

“It’s a sour taste in your mouth, but we played well, we really cleaned up defensively against a good team,” New York head coach Doug Weight said.

“It was a great play [by McDavid], a great shot. That’s what overtime is, it goes from a grade-A opportunity to a bounce off a skate and then the other team gets a chance.” 

Greiss made 23 saves for the Isles, who had their run of 16 consecutive periods with at least one goal end in the opening stanza against Talbot, who frustrated the home club throughout the contest.

New York dropped to 5-0-2 at Barclays this season as it prepares for a two-game trip, which kicks off in Dallas on Friday night before a quick turnaround for Saturday’s game in St. Louis.

“We’ve been trending in the right direction all season and when things don’t go our way our ability to respond and stay with it and find our game again has been really good,” said Tavares.

“I expect no different heading into the weekend.”


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