The New York Islanders are getting a balanced attack from up and down the lineup, with a burst of a resurgent power play.
To paraphrase John Palmieri of EliteSportsNY: “What a difference a week makes.”
One week ago today, the New York Islanders had just hanged on to beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-3, with John Tavares’ first hat trick of the season. The team’s status was still uncertain with the powerplay struggling and a lack of a true, wholesome, confidence-building win.
One week later, the Islanders have won three of their last four games and six of their last seven, with captain John Tavares snapping a major scoring slump with eight goals — including two hat-tricks — in his last four games. The powerplay has also been resurgent, scoring in each of the last three victories for the Islanders.
There is an awakening occurring in the New York Islanders’ locker room right now, and it was felt by two Western Conference powerhouses. The defending Western Conference champion Nashville Predators were humbled by a 6-2 loss to the Islanders, and most recently the Vegas Golden Knights — who are off to the best start for an expansion franchise in NHL history.
Goals, Goals, Goals
The Islanders are a pretty good five on five team. It was their power play that needed serious work, going 2-for-32 heading into the contest against the Nashville Predators.
Not only did the powerplay go 3-for-5, but they exceeded the number of goals scored on the powerplay in a fraction of the opportunities. The addition of Ryan Pulock into the lineup and immediate powerplay success is no coincidence, the defenseman has three points which all came on the powerplay.
John Tavares snapped his scoring slump in a huge way, breaking through with nine goals and 11 points in his last five games. That includes two hat tricks, one against Arizona and one against Nashville. The NHL’s first all-star this week has surged from a five-game scoreless streak, and it’s no coincidence that the Islanders were 2-2-1 during those five games.
Josh Bailey has extended his scoring streak to seven games, posting three assists tonight and 14 points on the season. Bailey was reunited on the top line with Tavares and Anders Lee, and the trio got the band back together quickly. Lee also extended his point streak to six games, netting a pair of assists. The top line had a total of seven points tonight.
Jaroslav Halak has won his last four straight games and is 5-2-0 on the season.
The Islanders turn their attention to the Washington Capitals, as they face an uncharacteristically troubled team in our nation’s capital.