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The New York Islanders picked up a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils, following a 12-day break in between games.
The Islanders were without Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Pulock, Sebastian Aho, and head coach Barry Trotz, while Matt Martin was a scratch.
Yegor Sharangovich opened the scoring for the Devils on what was a pretty tough goal for Ilya Sorokin to give up, with a puck sneaking through on what seemed like it would be a relatively stoppable shot. However, after a fairly busy first period, which saw the teams combine for 28 total shots, Josh Bailey managed to tap in a rebound on an Islanders’ power play to tie the game with a minute to go in the frame.
It was a much slower start to the second period, with the teams trading very few chances through the first half. However, Adam Pelech gave the Islanders the lead midway through the frame, as his point shot was deflected in off bodies in front. The action didn’t really pick up after that, with just 10 shots total, but that’s something that benefits the Islanders, as they kept a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The Devils managed to tie the game midway through the third period, as Nathan Bastian tipped a shot through Sorokin on a power play. However, with under five minutes to go, Mathew Barzal gave the Islanders the lead once again, taking a nice pass from Josh Bailey and beating Jon Gillies. New York did and excellent job protecting the lead after that, not allowing entries and when New Jersey did get into the zone, other than one scramble in front, the Islanders kept them to the outside and limited any chances, hanging on for the 3-2 win.
So the Islanders keep creeping back up the standings, having now gone 4-0-1 over their last five games. It’s these games against beatable opponents (especially at home) that New York needs to win, and they’re now up to 11th in the Eastern Conference in points percentage. With nine of their next games coming at home and the Islanders playing much better hockey, there’s certainly reason for optimism with this team.
New York’s next game comes on Saturday against the Washington Capitals.
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