The New York Islanders are back to their winning ways after a tough West Coast road trip with a 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
1:18 into the game, Anders Lee ended his goalless streak with his sixth of the year courtesy of Josh Bailey. Bailey was reunited with Lee and Mathew Barzal and it seemed to work wonders for the top line that has previously struggled of late.
At the 14 minute mark of the period something strange happened. Thomas Greiss skated over to the bench and spoke to Barry Trotz. After a brief exchange, the Isles switched goalies as Greiss took himself out of the game.
It didn’t appear to be an injury, he just seemed to be ill. I’m sure we will find out more after the game and as Barry Trotz talks with the media. More on Semyon Varlamov and his performance later.
In period number two, Mathew Barzal extended the Islanders lead to 2-0 with this nifty goal on the breakaway:
Mathew Barzal is simply the fastest guy on the ice most nights, and that speed was put on display with his 10th goal of the year. Barzal, who has a career-high of 22 goals, is on pace for 34 this year. His new strategy of more shots has been working, clearly.
After two periods of play, the Isles held a two-goal lead. The Isles didn’t get many chances in the third period, in fact, it was the Blue Jackets who had control. Columbus generated 17 shots on net in the period. 17! But Varlamov stood tall and was phenomenal in relief of Greiss.
With just 3:01 remaining in the game, Josh Bailey took the first penalty of the game. It was an interference call that was so questionable but nonetheless the Isles were able to kill it off and survive the empty net for a 2-0 win.
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Winners: Semyon Varlamov, Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee
Losers: Sonny Milano, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Alexander Wennberg