Revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge. After being shutout nearly two weeks ago in Denver by the Colorado Avalanche, the New York Islanders returned the favor by shutting out the Avs 6-0 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum tuesday night. It was quite possibly the best all-around team effort of the season for the Islanders (although we said the same thing about the wins over L.A. Kings and the Anaheim Ducks before that), and they’ve continued the momentum developed on their west coast road trip. Jaroslav Halak posted his second consecutive shutout on 20 saves, and is 18 minutes shy of the franchise shutout record going into friday’s game with the Florida Panthers. Halak has not given up a goal since the second period of the Ducks game, a stretch of 7 consecutive periods. The Islanders as a team haven’t given up a goal in over 8 consecutive periods going back to the first period of thursday’s win over the Kings.
Nov 11, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; Prior to puck drop the 106th Rescue Wing repelled from the rafters with the U.S. Flag for Military Appreciation Night before a game between the New York Islanders and the Colorado Avalanche at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Six different Isles scored goals and 12 different players recorded points in the most lopsided game of the year for the Islanders. What’s even more astounding is that out of the 14 points tallied on the score sheet only one, John Tavares‘ primary assist on Travis Hamonic‘s goal in the second period, came from the Isles top forward line. Nick Leddy got the blowout started less than 2 minutes into the game after he pounced on a loose puck in the slot and faked the defenseman before beating Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov stick side. The goal was Leddy’s 100th career NHL point. Anders Lee made it 2-0 shortly after that on the power-play. A dump-in pass took a funny bounce off the boards and came to Varlamov who couldn’t play it and the Lee streaked in to bury the loose puck for his 2nd goal of the year.
In the second period the Islanders continued to dominate play and Hamonic made it 3-0 on a slap shot from the point off a nice one handed pass from Tavares. Nikolay Kulemin followed that with the prettiest goal of the night as he tallied his second short-handed goal of the year. After losing the face-off on the penalty kill the Isles continued to pressure the puck and Frans Nielsen was able to chip it out of the zone onto Kulemin’s stick for a breakaway. Kuelmin beat Varlamov glove side after a slick forehand-backhand move to make it 4-0. From there the Isles cruised. Casey Cizikas and Ryan Strome each scored their first of the season to make it 5-0 and 6-0 respectively in the third period. Cizikas’ goal came after a great shift by the 4th line, Matt Martin in particular, and that line was rewarded with power play minutes shortly after.
The story of the last few games has been the Islanders defense. What seemed to be the teams Achilles heel after the first 12 games of the year, the Isles have gotten great defensive play from their forwards, fewer turnovers, and stellar goaltending. In the last 2 games the Islanders have only given up a total of 39 shots and Halak has had little to no traffic in front, stopping them all. The Isles strong back checking is also allowing for better rebound control and quicker breakouts out of their own zone.
The Islanders look to extend this winning streak to a season high five games against the Panthers friday night in Sunrise. Puck drop is 7:30 P.M.