In the second game of a back to back, the Islanders secured two important points against one of the league’s worst teams.
Doug Weight brought out a new lineup prior to this one. Anthony Beauvillier moved to his natural position of center, surrounded by Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera. Stephen Gionta also made his return to the ice on the fourth line.
Sloppy ice had the puck bouncing all over the place at the start. The Isles had one power play in the first, but nothing to show for it.
Halfway into the period, a bad turnover at the blue line put Joe Colborne all alone in the slot and he beat Berube to put Colorado up 1-0.
It was the third straight games the Islanders didn’t score the first goal.
The Isles answered with tons of pressure in the offense zone but couldn’t beat Calvin Pickard.
They were knocking on the door for most of the period and with 7:59 left in the period a Nick Leddy wrist shot beat Pickard to tie the game at one.
Back into the lineup, Gionta made a nice pass to Leddy and Kulemin helped the cause with a great screen in front of the net.
It was an up and down period and the two was tied at the first intermission. The Isles responded well after allowing the first goal but didn’t finish the period strong.
The Islanders have had tons of success in recent second periods and that continued on Sunday.
After two Colorado penalties, the Isles had a golden opportunity with a five on three halfway into the period.
Tavares made a tremendous pass to a wide-open Ryan Strome who tapped in the goal to put the Islanders on top.
They would take that lead into the second intermission.
With1:21 into the third period Tavares made his second highlight reel assist of the night when he found Anders Lee to put the Isles up 3-1. For Lee, it was his 20th goal of the season.
Lee’s career high for goals was 25 during the last year of the Coliseum and he is more than on pace to break that this season.
Later in the period, former Islander Blake Comeau laid a dangerous hit on Brock Nelson and after a scrum, the Isles came away with a power play.
On the man advantage it Lee again, tipping home a Johnny Boychuk shot. The Islanders were now up 4-1 and well in control of this game.
J.F. Berube played what was without a doubt his best of the season. He made multiple highlight reel saves and kept the Islanders into the game up until the offense took it into their own hands.
For good measure Chimera followed up a Nelson rush to give the Islanders a four-goal lead.
The Isles defeated the Avalanche 5-1 to get back within a point of the last wild card spot.
The Isles will stay in Brooklyn to host the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. A game that could push the Islanders right into the playoffs for the first time this season.