The New York Islanders get a much-needed win over the Minnesota Wild thanks in large part to the bottom half of their forward roster.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done. With only a single win over their last five games, the New York Islanders were very much in a slump as they took to the ice to play the Minnesota Wild.
With mistake laden performances over the past few games, the Islanders needed to get back to basics. Just do the simple things right and the results will come.
It wasn’t easy, but the Islanders, thanks to offense from their bottom six and getting back to their fundamentals, were able to get back in the win column.
Look this wasn’t a barn burner of a game. The Intensity and drama didn’t pick up until the third period.
But as seems to be commonplace now the Isles go down 1-0 in the first period when Ryan Donato put home his eighth of the year from a foot out.
Donato, parked in front of the net, had way too much time to poke this through Semyon Varlamov. The Wild forward was surrounded by four, yeah four, Islanders players and not one of them got in his face or made his life difficult. You know defending 101.
You could have slept through the second period and not miss a thing. Both teams played strong defensively. Neither side was giving up an inch and boy was it boring.
But, in all fairness, that’s exactly what the Islanders needed. They needed to get a good strong period of hockey with no mistakes.
All of the offense for the Islanders came within 13 minutes in the period.
First, it was
to get an admittedly lucky goal as the puck crawls out from under him and past the red line. With the Islanders struggling to generate any offense they’ll take whatever they could get, even it was “lucky”.
A full 97 seconds later,
puts the puck home off an outstanding pass from
who was falling on his backside as he made the play.
Just like that, the New York Islanders were in the lead for the first time in the game. A lead they wouldn’t let go even as things started to get a little feisty out there with Scott Mayfield getting into some altercations on more than one occasion.
Then, just to seal the deal,
puts home his first of the season to make it 3-1.
Kuhnhackl may have started the night on the top line with Mathew Barzal, but he ended it playing in the Islanders bottom six. With his goal and the one by Matt Martin, the Isles bottom-six get the ‘W’. Which is probably the most Islanders way to win a game.