BARZAL vs WASHINGTON 8/16
There is nothing better than playing one of your biggest rivals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Islanders did just that in the first round of this past season.
The Islanders dominated the series and going into game three they were up 2-0 and were looking to take a commanding lead and control of the series.
Just like most of this series, the Islanders dominated play in this game. They were up 1-0, courtesy of an Anders Lee goal at the end of the first, but Washington answered back on the power play in the second to tie the game up.
The Islanders had some great chances to take the lead in the third, but Holtby and the Caps defense stood tall and the game went into overtime.
Four minutes into overtime, the Capitals got their best chance of the game. Vrana came speeding down on a breakaway, but Varlamov closed the five-hole at the last second to deny the Caps from crawling back into the series.
Shortly after the Islanders broke the puck out. Derick Brassard made a beautiful cross-ice pass from the defensive zone on the far side wall to a streaking Jordan Eberle in front of the scorer’s box.
Barzal skated pass the left side defenseman and received a pass from Eberle right before the blueline. Barzal created enough space for himself to have a rush to the net. He took the puck towards Holtby’s crease and then moved the puck into the open net on his backhand to give the Islanders a 2-1 victory.
The goal was reviewed for offsides, but Barzal held his foot on the line and the play was clearly onsides.
This goal is a perfect example of how everyone on the ice contributed to the winning goal. Varlamov made a huge save. The defense got the puck to the half wall. Brassard made a great cross-ice pass to Eberle. Eberle feeds the puck to Barzal and the puck winds up in Washington’s net. All six Islanders players had a huge role in this goal.
The Islanders went on to dispose of the Capitals in five games and set themselves up with an Eastern Conference semi-finals matchup against the Flyers.