The New York Islanders season has had its ups and downs. When it comes to their overtime play though, they have been dominant.
In the last five games, the New York Islanders have received at least one point. This five-game streak is one they hope to run with and develop into something like their 17 game point streak earlier this season. Out of those last five games, three of them have gone to overtime, most recently in their 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.
The Islanders are actually playing overtime hockey in almost one in every three games played (17 out of 52). This rate is greater than any team in the National Hockey League.
Around the League
As well as having the most overtime games played, the Islanders are tied for the most overtime wins as well with the Pittsburgh Penguins (whom the Islanders beat in back to back overtime games). These two teams are the only two in the NHL with double-digit overtime wins with 11 each.
With the most overtime opportunities, it can be said that the high number of wins may be based on just having the most chances. So let's go to overtime win percentage. The Isles are third in the league in win-percentage for games that exceed the regulation at 64.71 percent.
The only two teams ahead of the Islanders are the Pittsburgh Penguins who are 11-5 at 68.75 percent, and the Carolina Hurricanes who are dominating with a 9-3 OT record for a league-leading 75 percent.
Islanders in Overtime
Overtime is when the pressure is on the most. One goal ends the game. So what makes the team excel at this crucial moment?
Let's start off with the basic answers of repetition and necessity. We already mentioned they have played the most overtime games in the league. Meaning they have dealt with the three-on-three style of play more than any other team which builds experience throughout the season.
The team is built with some great skaters. In overtime, with fewer men on the ice, there is a lot more room to work with. This bodes well for players such as Mathew Barzal whom we know is not only a great player and skater, but one of the fastest in the league, winning this year's NHL Fastest Skater competition during the All-Star Game festivities.
Leading the Way
No surprise here but the top three scorers during overtime play this season are Brock Nelson (six), Anthony Beauvillier (four), and Barzal (three). In total eight different skaters have at least one point in overtime so far this season.
Nelson has been on a tear for the blue and orange this season and leads the team in overtime goals with four. Right behind him is Beauvillier, whose four points are split evenly with two goals and two assists. Where all of Barzal's overtime points come on assists alone.
This looks like a habit that isn't going to be broken. The Isles play a lot of overtime games, and in the end, it's not a bad thing. Overtime means we will be going home with at least one more point in the standings.
With how tight the division is though, we need to make sure to keep capitalizing. Not winning in regulation means also giving up a point in the standings to the other team as well. So when regulation ends and the game is still tied, the Isles need to keep up the pace they are at in overtime play and hope the extra hockey doesn't burn them out.
They may have had their ups and downs, but this team is proving it can play in those pressure moments, let's see if it will be good enough to hoist them into the playoffs and beyond.