New York Islanders Tie Game with 28 Seconds Left, Blow It Again 25 Seconds Later (Video)

New York Islanders choke job

Technically the New York Islanders needed two points against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday to clinch a playoff spot. But one point would have gotten them really, really close. And after coming back from a 4-1 third period deficit to tie the game with just 28 seconds left in the third period, it looked like they were going to get at least that one point.

Unfortunately, it slipped through their fingers just 25 seconds later. Or rather, it slipped through Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak‘s fingers when he let in a soft goal that nullified the Isles’ heroic comeback.

The sad sequence of events began with Halak on the bench with 30.9 seconds left on the clock. John Tavaras won a crucial faceoff in the Flyers zone, then shovelled a backhand pass to Anders Lee who went backhand-forehand to slide the puck past Steve Mason and tie the game. It was a truly brilliant play. But it was all for naught.

With less than 10 seconds left on the clock, the Flyers’ Brayden Schenn brought the puck down the left wing into the Islanders zone and flung a weak shot on net that Halak should have eaten up. Only he didn’t. The puck fluttered through him and into the net with just three seconds remaining.

Take a look:

After the game, Jaroslav Halak took “full responsibility” for the loss, which is noble if not entirely fair. I’d give him maybe 70% of the responsibility, 75% tops.

Regardless, the Isles are still in pretty good shape. With two games remaining, they lead the Penguins by two points in the Metropolitan Division and they lead the Bruins and Sens by three points in the Wild Card standings. So their fate is in their hands.

Then again, given how they handled their fate on Tuesday, maybe that’s a bad thing.

Tags: choke, Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders, NHL, soft goal,