Good teams find a way. The New York Islanders escape with a greasy 4-3 win going down by two goals early against St Louis Blues.
Going into the game the New York Islanders were 12-8-0 on the road. The St Louis Blues were 10-11-2 at home. The game was looking like a good one to give the Isles their ninth win in ten games.
Yeah. Over the last ten games before taking on the Blues, the New York Islanders were 8-2-0. A win would make it 9-1-0 and make them one of the hottest teams in the league.
Or it could all just be a trap.
If the Isles could play even half the road game they did against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a win should be inevitable. But as we saw in that Toronto game, the Isles will need to play a full sixty and follow Barry’s instructions to a tee.
The New York Islanders went down early again. The St. Louis Blues did a great job of coming out of the gates flying against the Islanders and after some sustained pressure in the Isles end they were rewarded with a goal from Brayden Schenn four minutes into the game.
For some reason Islanders just couldn’t get anything going offensively and also couldn’t get anything going defensively.
The Blues did a great job at getting the puck off Islanders sticks in the defensive zone and then did an even better job sustaining offense in the Isles zone.
Eventually that would lead to Zach Sanford scoring his fifth of the season and giving the Blues a 2-0 lead.
It was a bad period for the Islanders, but with 40 minutes to go the Isles had plenty of time to get back in the game.
A full 2:25 minutes into the second frame and Matt Martin, thanks to a nice Casey Cizikas feed cuts the deficit to one.
That was Matt Martin’s fifth goal of the season on 29 games played. That puts him on pace for 12 by seasons end. That would be a career high for Martin, whose been rejuvenated since returning to the Islanders.
While the Isles didn’t add to their lead with in the remaining 17 minutes nor did the Blues. With only two shots on the period its hard to say the Islanders won that 20 minute interval. They’ll need to do much better in the third.
It was more of the same as the third started. By the eight minute mark the Islanders had a single shot on net.
And then Jordan Eberle reminded everyone that he was a 59 point player last season for a reason. Digging the puck up to the right of Jake Allen coming all the way around and getting into the net.
A full eleven seconds later Johnny Boychuk gets his third of the season to take the lead in the game for the first time in the game.
Then at the 15 minutes mark of the third period, with a long-bomb pass to Anders Lee from Devon Toews, the captain who’s alone on Jake Allen puts in his second attempt for the 4-2 lead.
The Blues would press with the extra attacker with three minutes left and would find a kink in the Isles armor to reduce their lead by one.
Unfortunately, for the Blues that’s all they’d get. The Isles would win their sixth in a row by a score of 4-3.
Fourteen shots for, five times short-handed, but four unanswered goals from the Islanders they escape with an undeserved win, two points, and a playoff spot.
The Islanders showed up for 12 minutes on the night and came away with the win. That’s the sign of a good team.
1. Robin Lehner: 29 saves, 0.906SV%
His stats don’t show a player that was the best on the ice, but he absolutely was. The Islanders did not play well in front of him but Lehner did what he needed to do.
2. Casey Cizikas: 2 assists
He created two goals and his relentless forechecking created a third. Casey Cizikas is the heart of this hockey team.
3. Anders Lee: 1 goal, 1 assist
The captain puts up another two points on the night. His 15th goal and 15th point puts him on pace for 62 points.