Isles look to get back to winning ways after slowing down recently.
The New York Islanders have lost two in a row after going on an incredible stretch. They recently lost their captain, Anders Lee, to a season-ending injury, but would have to make do without him.
Barry Trotz did mention that he would be changing up the lines in hopes of getting a different result on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Leo Komarov would rejoin the lineup as the top line left winger. Michael Dal Colle was promoted to play on the left wing of the second line, switching spots with Anthony Beauvillier.
The defense would look a little different. Andy Greene would move to the right to play alongside Nick Leddy in the top four.
Thomas Hickey would be playing in his first game in 716 days, something everyone is excited to see. He’ll slot in on the left alongside Scott Mayfield. Ilya Sorokin gets the start in net.
1st period: That was fun
This was just the period the Islanders needed to get out of their slump. They scored a whopping four goals in the first, including a power play goal, and did concede a goal, but took an impressive lead into the final 40 minutes of the game.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau does what he does best and put the Islanders up on a power play. Oliver Wahlstrom continues to impress offensively, both on the power play and at even-strength, recording assists on two goals.
Jordan Eberle continues to be one of the team’s most important goal scorers by giving them a 2-0 lead.
Casey Cizikas has proven time and time again this season that he’s more than capable of putting up points. He did just that on Saturday, scoring two goals in the first period.
Everyone was excited to see Hickey back on the ice, and he was awarded two assists in the first period. It was truly heart-warming to see.
The Islanders played a clean period and took advantage of several mistakes made by a severely underperforming Flyers team. They’d have to refrain from slacking and blowing the lead, but being up 4-1 is reassuring.
2nd period: All PK and D
The second period wasn’t particularly great for the Islanders, but they got the job done. The penalty kill and defense stood out here.
The Islanders committed two penalties this period and were outshot, but stood tall and prevented the Flyers from scoring. Now on to the third.
3rd period: Philly turnovers galore
One of the things that killed the Flyers in this game was turnovers, which was another issue for them in the third. Beauvillier and Josh Bailey both scored in the third as a result of some Philadelphia turnovers.
Hockey games are won by being alert and capitalizing on sloppy play and mistakes made by the opponent.
The Islanders were defensively solid, but showed off their offensive skills, as well, and made sure to convert the mistakes made by Flyers players into goals.
This is one characteristic that’s made them a top team in the league and that they must continue to use to their advantage.
Key Moment: PPG for JPG
The key moment of the game for the Islanders was Pageau’s power play goal, the Islanders’ first goal of the game.
This goal opened the floodgates for the Islanders, who didn’t stop scoring after that, and represented how great both Pageau and Wahlstrom have been, especially on the man-advantage.
Player of the game: Thomas Hickey
Heart-warming stuff right here. In his season debut and his first game in years, Hickey was the best player on the ice. He was excellent at both ends of the ice and did what was asked of him.
If he’s able to consistently play this well, Trotz has yet another weapon that makes his team so dangerous.
Hickey’s numbers: 16:34 TOI, 2 A, 60.87 CF%, 0.04 iXG, 1 block, 0.84 xGF, 0.1 xGA, 1.98 GF, 0 GA, 1.42 defensive rating, 1.05 offensive rating, and 1.32 individual rating.
Stats are courtesy of Hockey Stat Cards and Natural Stat Trick.