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Editorials

Islanders: 5 things we learned in 16 game point streak

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 21: The New York Islanders celebrate their 4-3 overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Barclays Center on November 21, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 4-3 in overtime and with the victory, (the Islanders are 15-0-1 since Oct. 12) extended their point streak to a franchise-record 16 games. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 21: The New York Islanders celebrate their 4-3 overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Barclays Center on November 21, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 4-3 in overtime and with the victory, (the Islanders are 15-0-1 since Oct. 12) extended their point streak to a franchise-record 16 games. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 09: Mathew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders celebrates after scoring a first period goal against Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers during their game at Barclays Center on November 09, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

When Defense Fails, Offense Shines

Last season the New York Islanders were the best defensive team in the league with the fewest goals against. This year has been much of the same. With 49 goals against, the Isles are once again the best defensive team in the league.

The Islanders typically staunch defense has had its moments over this 16 game stretch.

They kept the Buffalo Sabres off the scoresheet with a 1-0 shutout. They kept the Winnipeg Jets, the Ottawa Senators (the second time) and the Florida Panthers (the second time) – who have the second-best offense in the league – to a single goal.

On four other occasions, the Islanders held their opponents to only two goals.

But of late they haven’t been as tight. Over their last four games, their opponents have scored at least three goals, while Toronto and Pittsburgh (the second time) were able to get four goals against the Islanders.

That’s not typical of a team that’s allowed 2.35 goals against since the start of the 2018-19 season (the lowest in the NHL over that span).

Thankfully, when the Islanders defense wasn’t having the best game, the offense was rolling.

The Islanders offense is tied for the tenth best in terms of goals for per game played at 3.25. That’s an incredible improvement for last season when the Isles scored 2.72 goals per game (ranked 22nd in the league).

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