The New York Islanders didn’t put their best effort forward but continue to find ways to win, this time against the trending St. Louis Blues.
- New York Islanders: 2 (26-15-4, 56 points)
- St. Louis Blues: 1 (20-20-5, 45 points)
- NYI Goal Scorers: Jordan Eberle (10), Valtteri Filppula (10)
- STL Goal Scorers: David Perron (17)
- NHL, Final, Box Score
- Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Perhaps it was a win hangover from their 5-1 throttling of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Islanders again were unable to put their best effort forward against a team on the tail-end of back-to-back games.
Still, as all good teams do, the Islanders found a couple ways to slide by and take two points home. The first period started off with eventful bursts of action, and Jordan Eberle‘s 200th-career goal started off a tense night of hockey.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 16, 2019
The lone goal would be all that stood through two periods of hockey in which the scoresheet was tested. Two Islanders infractions by both Scott Mayfield and Anders Lee summoned the penalty-kill into action, which has been perfect for three-straight games stopping all nine power plays.
Robin Lehner had to put on a clinic to help the Isles out of trouble on the penalty kill. Most of (if not all) the Islanders rightfully credited Lehner for the big win — he made 30 saves in the game and is 8-2-0 in his last 10 starts.
Lehner on good performance right after Greiss did on Sunday: "That's a team. Greisser has played great for us this year. Both me and Greisser are working really hard to get better and to make the playoffs. … I feel good about (tonight) and it's a nice 2 points for us." #Isles
— Christian Arnold (@C_Arnold01) January 16, 2019
The shot that did beat Lehner came in the third period, David Perron found space just under the crossbar and got his 17th of the season.
Valtteri Filppula’s overtime winner, impressively dished to him by Mathew Barzal from the opposite blueline, is his first-career overtime winner in his 919th NHL game.
— IslesBlog (@IslesBlog) January 16, 2019
With 56 points thus far through their season, the Islanders now have a smaller point differential from a division banner (three) then they do from exiting a playoff spot (four). Now more than halfway through their season, the Islanders find themselves in a position nobody thought they’d be in.
Overall team defense has become an organizational strength, between the pipes and beyond.
The Islanders are writing their own narrative of success, from the league’s fewest goals-allowed to the best goaltending tandem — both were league-worst not even a full year ago.
Ideally, things will start to gel and the Islanders can return to playing more consistently throughout games. Even though it hasn’t been perfect, the result speaks for itself.
As the Islanders continue to occupy a playoff spot closer and closer to the trade deadline, Lou Lamoriello has a better idea of how to improve his team, and who isn’t in the long-term plan.
Put this one in the impressive column: In the two games, the #Isles have shut down four of the most dangerous players in the game (Stamkos, Kucherov, Point, Tarasenko). 13 shots allowed combined, one point.
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) January 16, 2019