Can the Isles beat a struggling Devils team to stay hot?
The only issue the New York Islanders have been facing lately is beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they were even able to do that on Sunday.
They’ve been flying, lately, and absolutely must emerge from Tuesday’s game victorious.
The Islanders will be taking on a struggling New Jersey Devils team and have no reason to drop this game, especially with the way they themselves have been playing.
Cal Clutterbuck is back in the lineup after missing two straight games with injury, Leo Komarov would sit, and Semyon Varlamov returns to the Islanders net.
1st period: How aren’t you winning?
The Islanders out-shot the Devils this period, but were uncharacteristically bad on faceoffs. They were the better team and should’ve scored, but didn’t look as great as they’ve been lately.
They’d need to capitalize on their scoring chances moving forward.
2nd period: Phew…
This was quite the period for the Islanders. They were extremely undisciplined and committed far too many penalties.
Several players have had issues staying out of the box this season, but they’ve all been catching breaks since they play for a team with one of the best penalty kills in hockey.
An elite penalty kill going up against a bad power play, the Islanders had the advantage and were thankfully able to come out of the second without conceding a goal.
3rd period: Thank you
This wasn’t the smoothest game for the Islanders, but they were able to get the win. Oliver Wahlstrom, who has been unbelievable lately, got the Islanders on the board with a beautiful shot. He’s now on an impressive five-game point streak.
Not long after, the Devils made a mistake by letting Anders Lee run riot in front of their own net, where he thrives. Dell made a nice save on Lee’s first shot, but Lee was sure to get the rebound past him.
The Islanders’ shutout streak was ended at 119:47, but they’re happy to get the win, especially in front of their fans who made the trip to Jersey.
Not all wins are going to be clean or pretty, but a win is a win. The Islanders will look to keep the streak going in a lengthy stretch against a struggling Buffalo Sabres team.
Key moment: Wahlstrom!
The key moment of the game was Wahlstrom’s goal. It seems like most of the Islanders’ recent key moments are coming off this kid’s stick.
Wahlstrom’s goal was a beauty and it got them on the board. Who knows what would’ve happened had he not scored there.
He’s been one of the team’s best forwards lately and deserves a permanent role in the lineup. He’s even making the players around him better.
Player of the game: Jean-Gabriel Pageau
The player of the game was Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Pageau had a big assist, but was also great defensively.
His numbers: 0.71 defensive rating, 0.36 offensive rating, 1.08 individual rating, one assist, 0.33 iXG, four blocks, 0.45 xGF, 0.17 xGA, 1.06 GF, and zero GA. He’s been a stud for his team after a slow start to the season.
Stats courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.