The New York Islanders blank the San Jose Sharks 4-0. Robin Lehner steals the show while everyone plays their part behind him.
Going into game three the New York Islanders just wanted to build off of their loss tot he Nashville Predators on Saturday. The Islanders were exactly what management set out for them to be versus the Predators; tough to play against.
Unlike that opening night against the Carolina Hurricanes the Islanders were able to limit the number of shots to 23 from the Predators, half of what the Canes got.
The New York Islanders wanted to continue this kind of play against the powerful San Jose Sharks.
Stays With ‘Em
The first period was a testament to how the New York Islanders would play the rest of the game. They played toe-to-toe with the Sharks. After the first period the score was 0-0 and the shots 12-12.
It was good back-and-forth hockey with both teams looking evenly matched even though on paper they absolutely weren’t.
In the second period the Islanders were able to generate some offense and keep the momentum going their way. Eventually the Islanders would get their just reward for that offense with a power play followed by a goal.
A cross-ice pass from Mathew Barzal, a one-time from Josh Bailey and Anders Lee burying the puck from down low on the power play. Call it the Isles 1-2-3 play, cause were going to see this combination all year long.
The second period would end with the New York Islanders leading 1-0 thanks to Lee’s goal. The Isles would also lead the Sharks in shot 25-19.
The third period got even better for the New York Islanders. As the Sharks pressed for the game tying goal the Islanders were finding success exploiting the Sharks desire to push forward.
Five minutes into the third frame Scott Mayfield would make the Islanders lead 2-0. Thanks to a killer hit by Cal Clutterbuck, the puck switched hands when Mayfield ripped it from the blue line that deflected its way passed Martin Jones.
And then Matt Martin put the game out of sight. Valtteri Fippula steals off of Erik Karlsson and follows it up with a great dish from down low to Matt Martin who let us know he isn’t just a fighter. He can finish too.
Casey Cizikas would make it 4-0 with a short-handed empty net goal.
The Islanders welcomed one of the best teams in the NHL (on paper) to the Barclays Center and bested them with a decisive victory.
Going into the season we didn’t think that the New York Islanders would hang with the San Jose Sharks. But yet, in game three of the 2018-19 season, not only were the Isle able to hang but were better than the Sharks.
Thank you, Barry Trotz.
Star of the game: Robin Lehner
Brought in on a single year $1.5 million deal, not much was expected of Robin Lehner. So long as the Isles can get average NHL goalkeeping from the Buffalo Sabres number one goalie the Isles be fine.
In his first game between the pipes he earns a 35 save shut out. If he can continue to play well the New York Islanders will find incredible value from their goalie.
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Things keep getting better for the New York Islanders. After three games the Islanders are 2-1-0. It’s early, but things are looking great!