The New York Islanders win their third in a row and 14th win in 20 games, With it they now sit with 58 points thanks to a blitz in the first 20 minutes.
The New York Islanders welcomed a relatively weak New Jersey Devils team. With all due respect they’re still an NHL team but without 2018 Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall they aren’t the same team.
Regardless the Islanders needed to approach this game just as they would against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That’s exactly what the New York Islanders did with a blitz in the first period that effectively killed the game before it even started.
In the first few minutes the Devils started to get pucks towards the Islanders net. Before the five minute mark it was 4-0 in shots for the Devils.
But as the Isles work the puck the other way Nick Leddy gets the puck towards the net before its redirected by Anders Lee for the Islanders first goal of the night and 17th of the season.
You could argue that Brock Nelson got a deflection on it and maybe deserves an assist on the play. Either way, 1-0 Islanders with Nick Leddy getting a point on the play.
Under four minutes later Michael Dal Colle would get his just desserts for the work he’s been putting in recently as a Scott Mayfield point shot breaks off a Devils defender and to the waiting stick of Dal Colle.
It was 2-0 for the New York Islanders with half of the first period remaining. Six minutes later, the Islanders would score on the power play thanks to a snipe from Jordan Eberle.
That was Eberle’s fourth point in five games. He now sits with 22 points in 42 games. Since coming back from injury he’s been a totally different player. Maybe he actually forces the Islanders to keep him at the trade deadline?
After 20 it was 3-0 for the Islanders with the Devils holding a 6-5 advantage in shots.
There wasn’t any scoring in the second period, but the New York Islanders did the next best thing by keeping the Devils in their own zone.
The shot differential tilted heavily in the Islanders favor through the second 20 minute period. The Isles did so by putting up 12 shots to the Devils four.
For a full six minutes in the second period the Islanders didn’t let the Devils get past the red line. Brock Nelson was having another one of his games where he may not be scoring but he was one of the Isles better players by intercepting pucks and keeping the Isles on the offensive.
It was an absolute clinic by the New York Islanders. Again, they may not have scored but they dominated the play and kept their three goal advantage.
The New Jersey Devils started the period by poor on the pressure. And worked the puck into the Islanders net to reduce the lead to 3-1 with a redirect from Andy Greene.
But the Islanders held on and eventually Anders Lee scored his second of the night on the empty netter to seal the 4-1 victory.
The Islanders now sit at 58 points and with the Blue Jackets and Capitals not in action the Isles will be just a single point back of the division lead before playing the Capitals tomorrow.
Fans of the Game
Before every New York Islanders game we ask fans over Twitter who they think will score the teams first goal. Absolutely no one got Anders Lee.
Well….no one but myself over the Eyes on Isles account. Humble brag.
1. Nick Leddy: 2 assists
Just like co-Expert predicted just a few days ago, the points will come for Nick Leddy. With two tonight, Leddy now sits with 18 on the season and four in his last five games.
2. Brock Nelson: 1 assist
Brock Nelson put up a point and man did he play a great game. He was breaking up plays and getting them going the other way. He was the Brock Nelson we’ve come to know this season. A Brock Nelson very much unlike the one we’ve come to expect from previous seasons.
3. Michael Dal Colle:1 goal
He did it. Michael Dal Colle has scored his first NHL goal. He was at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing with his stick on the ice. Congrats to Michael Dal Colle.