A quick power play goal to start the game set the tone of a dominant New York Islanders winner against the highly talented Tampa Bay Lightning. After some disappointing bets against the New York Rangers, it seemed that this game would be one to forget about the best team in the league so far. However, there is a reason why they play the games, and much of the goal scoring tonight came unexpectedly from The Best Fourth Line in Hockey, with all three linemates factoring on the score. Three first goals from Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck and Devon Toews gave the islanders a lead they never gave up, and Casey Cizikas added it in the second period before Josh Bailey's third term blank nights to seal the winner.
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20 seconds in the game, Matt Martin took a high stack penalty on Eric Cernak, who put Islanders on power play. Brock Nelson got a wrist shot after getting the puck from Jordan Eberle, and his first (!!) power play goal for the season gave Islanders a 1
Three minutes later, Casey Cizika's Braydon Coburn struck the puck and handed it to Matt Martin, who passed it across the bridge to Cal Clutterbuck, which widened the Isles leadership to two.
Only 16 seconds later, Devon Toews scored his third NHL goal in 10 games with a blue line bomb. Michael Dal Colle was able to protect the puck so that it could slip up to the Toews, which did not make a mistake.
Valtteri Filppula then took an offensive zone tripping penalty that puts the dangerous lightning on power play, but the Islanders get killed. Lightning's only shot in the first 10 minutes of the game came on that power game.
Mathew Barzal had an interrupted opportunity but attempted to drive Andrei Vasilvesky and ended up running out of space. On the other hand, Thomas Greiss made a great rescue at Mathieu Joseph.
The period came close after a shortened Tampa Bay power play from a Cizikas hooking minor.
Islanders opened the second on criminal killings, and Greiss made a few good saves to hold the three goalscorers. Anthony Beauvillier had a good opportunity while falling down with Anton Stralman on his back, although Vasilevsky rescued. Victor Hedman teamed up with the linesman and seemed to hit his head and left the game from the bench a few minutes later and did not return. Greiss was under siege this period, making great savings on Tampa's star-studded roster.
A good defensive game from Casey Cizikas created an offensive opportunity where Cizikas drove behind the net and wrapped it around for Johnny Boychuk on the blue line. Boychuk hit a shot that Vasilevsky saved, but Matt Martin was able to get the rebound and handed over to Cizikas, who scored and increased the lead to 4-0.
Cizikas then took a delay of the game penalty after the puck hit the robo-cam placed just out of play over the glass. Greiss was active in that crime, but maintained management 4-0. Shortly after, a faint Ryan McDonagh shot would take a small leap out of Greiss & # 39; s pin so that it could sneak through the five holes and return lightning within three to close the period.
This period was basically all Lyn, with Greiss coming up big to make sure islanders lead remained. The most notable moment was then, with less than 10 minutes left, Tampa coach Jon Cooper Vasilevsky took a 6 to 5 option after the Barzal line was powdered. The strategy was pretty cool, and constituted a flight change with Vasilevsky and his teammates going back into the net. With just under five minutes left, the bolts shot the goalkeeper again, and Greiss had to be sharp, as the islands became hemmed in at their own end. It was Josh Bailey who averted the victory with an empty net goal, which gave the end result a 5-1 victory.
- Mat Barzal picked up another point on Nelson's power play tally, giving him up to 42 points in 44 games and continuing his latest hotstreak.
- Brock Nelson has scored most of his scoring in equal strength, but he chose a good time to get his first power play goal for the season.
- Let's talk about Devon Toews goals. His goal tonight was his third of the season, binding him with fellow defenders Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, Johnny Boychuk and Adam Pelech in just 10 games. He has been a great presence for the Islanders since coming from Bridgeport and I can't imagine he will be sent down.
- Thomas Greiss was at his best tonight, making 38 saves, including some of the most important, which secured scoring margin was as large as it was. Goaltending from both Greiss and Lehner have been far above expectations this season, and it will also be important ahead.
- Jon Cooper's decision to withdraw Vasilevsky by about 10 minutes was really cool and a strategy that you hope copycat NHL picks up more often. With his team down 4-1 you can just as well utilize the tired players after an icing and try to score a 6 on 5.
- Victor Hedman left the game with an upper body injury, but it looked as if he hit his head when he collided with one of the linesmen. Hopefully this damage is not too serious.
Next, Islanders takes St. Louis Blues at Barclays Center on Tuesday. The last time these two met, Islander's home took a 4-3 victory, the last of their eight-match victory line. The islands are now in the top wild card spot, and a victory against Blues can help give some required separation from the other Eastern Conference teams competing for a playoff spot.