For weeks now the New York Islanders have looked lifeless and listless. Head coach Barry Trotz has tried to juggle his lines but it hasn’t done anything. Today, with only a handful of games left on the season, Trotz decided to go back to what he knows best.
Not only that, this seems like the lineup he’s going to run with for the remainder of the season. And that lineup has Leo Komarov on the top line with Mathew Barzal. Fans may have cringed at the thought but Leo answered real quick with a beautiful snipe to open the scoring.
Komarov was in for Travis Zajac and his inclusion in the lineup immediately paid dividends and fueled the Isles through the rest of the contest.
They cut their magic number from eight to four. With six games left, the Isles need four points to make the postseason. They can do that with a regulation win on Saturday.
Semyon Varlamov (25 saves, 1.000SV%): Yet another shutout for Semyon Varlamov at MSG. The Isles goalie now has three shutouts on Ranger soil. He also now has six on the year, a career-high for him.
His previous career-high was five from a stellar 14-15 season where he started 57 games. He beat that in 31 starts this year.
Leo Komarov (1G, 1Shot, 2 Hits): Where has that shot been from Leo Komarov? Top corner far side on the one-time?! Incredible!
Scott Mayfield (2A, 2.54GS): Scott Mayfield had himself one heck of a game today. He had two primary helpers in the contest. He set up Barzal as he came out of the box and set up Anthony Beauvillier before that.
He still had a few shaky moments in transition as Mayfield ought to do, but otherwise, he was perfect. He finished with the highest game score for both teams with 2.54.
HM: Barry Trotz didn’t play but the moves he made with the lineup worked flawlessly so credit where credit is due for the bench boss.
Mathew Barzal (1G, 1 Really dumb penalty): We often talk about how Mather Barzal needs to cool things down on the ice. He’s a great player and elite-level forward, but for someone with that skill set, he takes a number of dumb penalties. Case-and-point this hit on Brendan Smith.
Thankfully, the team killed the penalty and Barzal buried the puck in the empty net after the team killed the penalty.
Kyle Palmieri (1SOG, 1 hit): Not a lot going on on the scoresheet for Kyle Palmieri. He was perfectly fine today for the Islanders, but he was fairly anonymous today.
Noah Dobson (+1, 13:59TOI): Not a lot of ice-time for the young defenseman today as he steps back in the lineup. Just like Palmieri, he wasn’t a big factor for the Isles tonight.