This marks nine of a possible 10 points for the Islanders through their last five games. Last night, the first period was fairly even despite New York’s lead but the Islanders got the bulk of the scoring chances as the game progressed. The Islanders even managed to go through the entire third period without allowing a shot on goal.
After a slow start, Josh Bailey has looked better for the Islanders. He was more engaged and found teammates alone in front of the net with some good passes, picking up two assists in the win.
Defensively, the Islanders were very good, though the chances they did give up were pretty dangerous and they came mostly through coverage issues. Again though, when you don't allow a shot through the entire third period, you can't complain much about a defensive performance. I thought in particular, Scott Mayfield was noticeably good defensively and was winning some difficult defensive zone battles.
Semyon Varlamov did have to make some really good saves against Buffalo. Overall, he’s been great this season and while in some games the Islanders have been able to limit chances, he’s been able to bail them out at times as well and his movement in net has been great. A .931 save percentage and three shutouts in 11 games is a pretty great start.
The Islanders played a fairly well-rounded game and were the better team last night. They’ll have a chance to sweep the two-game series in a rematch against the Sabres tonight and Anthony Beauvillier is expected to make his return to the lineup.
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Other than Mathew Barzal, who has been New York's best forward so far?