Islanders vs. Devils NHL20 simulations: Scrappy win over division rival

We continue our run of simulation New York Islanders games using NHL20 while the season is on hold. This time the Islanders face the New Jersey Devils.

The New York Islanders are 2-1-0 in our NHL20 simulations so far. The only loss they picked up was against divisional rivals Pittsburgh Penguins. On Saturday, the Islanders were supposed to face the Devils, here’s what happened in our simulation.

In these simulations, the Islanders offense has been on point. After a 3-1 loss to the Penguins to start things out they’ve answered with a 7-0 win over the Calgary Flames and 6-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hopefully, they didn’t lose it against the lowly Devils.

(Again, big thanks to Ryan Grosso for running these simulations. I don’t have NHL20 and can’t run out to grab a copy at the store.)

Goals Galore

The Islanders went down 1-0 almost immediately. Fifteen seconds into the game, Jesper Bratt puts one by Thomas Greiss to put the Islanders on their heels. Something we’ve frequently seen in real life.

The Isles have a habit of playing down to their opposition rather than proving that they are the better team and putting up a dominant performance.

Things were quiet for a while in the first until three goals (two by the Isles and one from the Devils) would go in within a minute and 42 seconds of play. First, it was Anthony Beauvillier then Cal Clutterbuck for a 2-1 lead before Jack Hughes tied it up at 2-2.

The second saw a much more dominant performance from the blue and orange. Not only were they up 4-3 after 40, but they managed to get 15 shots on net (they only managed six in the first period). Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson would score in the second, meaning everyone on the second line was in the goals column.

But the Islanders couldn’t see it through, Josh Bailey would make it 5-4 after Pavel Zacha equalized the score 5:20 into the third. Kyle Palmieri would even things up for the Devils who were pressing with 16 shots in the period. Palmieri would tie things up at five at 14:44 of the third.

Without an answer from the Islanders, this one would need overtime. Unfortunately, the Isles couldn’t find an opening in overtime. Nick Leddy would get two shots on goal but MacKenzie Blackwood would stop both. A shootout was needed.

Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal would convert to get the Islanders their third win in a row. Although, needing a shootout to get two points against the Devils isn’t something to be too proud of.

Winners and Losers

Winners

Josh Bailey: 2 Goals, 2 Shots
Jack Hughes: 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 2 Shots
Jesper Bratt: 2 Goals, 5 Shots

Another big day for Josh Bailey. After being moved to the second line next to Brock and Beau he’s been on fire for the Islanders. If only that could work in real life, right?

Losers

MacKenzie Blackwood: 0.844SV%, 5GA, 27 Saves
Thomas Greiss: 0.865SV%, 5GA, 32 Saves
Noah Dobson: -3 +/-

It wasn’t what you’d call a goalie battle out there. Both shot-stoppers were terrible with a sub-900 save percentage.

Noah Dobson is one of a few -3’s on the night. Andy Greene and Anders Lee were the only other players for either team with a -3. I chose Dobson because he had the least amount of ice time.