The New York Islanders needed a win to avoid a third consecutive loss, and they earned it with a 7-3 pummeling of the Chicago Blackhawks courtesy of a record-setting night from Ryan Pulock and a two-goal night for Anthony Beauvillier.
- New York Islanders 7 (24-20-4, 52 points)
- Chicago Blackhawks 3 (22-18-6, 50 points)
- NYI Goals: Anthony Beauvillier (9, 10), Jordan Eberle (16), Ryan Pulock (4), Brock Nelson (10), Anders Lee (27), John Tavares (26)
- CHI Goals: Patrick Kane (19, 20), Eric Gustafsson (1)
That was one for the New York Islanders record book.
The Islanders responded with one of their strongest games of the season in limiting a talented Hawks team to just three goals on the night. The Isles may have allowed three goals, but Jaroslav Halak is feeling good after turning aside 39 shots in the winning effort for a .923 save percentage on the night. The Isles finally outshot their opponent, 46 combined between Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass.
Tonight’s win was the Islanders first win at the United Center since 2009.
That’s three-straight road wins for the Islanders and it helps them snap a two-game losing streak. Anthony Beauvillier had one of the best games of his young career potting two goals. But more credit to him for playing a complete game and making smart decisions on the defensive end.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 21, 2018
The defense deserves a lot of credit as well tonight, as Ryan Pulock influenced the score-sheet heavily with a historic game. Pulock is the first Islanders rookie defenseman to have a five-point night with a goal and four assists.
Tonight was a pleasant surprise effort from the Isles who didn’t let a potent offense back into what was a dominated contest after Chicago’s tying goal. Gustafsson’s first-career NHL goal nearly put a monkey wrench into things, and that’s when the game really shifted.
Instead of surrendering control to the thought of a third goal bringing the Hawks closer to a comeback, the Islanders did something they’ve struggled heavily in this season—buckle down and put a stop to the momentum.
Streeeetch pass and a b-way for @leeberr09?
— NHL (@NHL) January 21, 2018
— NHL (@NHL) January 21, 2018
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 21, 2018
It’s fitting that Nelson’s goal acted as the coffin-nail in the game, the Islanders have been waiting for an impact from their bottom-six all season, and tonight the two trios in the middle-six delivered.
The criticized decision to recall Johnston and have him play paid off exactly like Doug Weight intended it to. Johnston was one of three dominant forwards on the ice on the third line and his first-career assist is well deserved.
Lastly, all the best to Newsday‘s Arthur Staple, who according to this tweet will resign from Newsday Sports after tonight.
Headed off to Chicago on my last road trip for @NewsdaySports. I’ll have more details on my next move in a couple weeks. Until then, #Isles fans, let’s keep the focus where it should be — on my inability to ask tough questions.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) January 19, 2018
The Islanders are back in action on Monday night to face the Arizona Coyotes with puck drop coming from Glendale at 9 p.m. ET on MSG+.