It’s not the last game at the Nassau Coliseum, but it’s the last regular-season game at the New York Islanders home since they entered the league in 1972. And what better way to end it at the Coli in the regular season than a strong 5-1 win over the Devils.
The Islanders are by no way fixed by beating up on the Devils. But they did fix a few things today with the win.
First, they played a full game. From puck drop to the final whistle the islanders were engaged and skating. Sure, there were a few lulls here and there, but they were able to battle through them instead of getting swept into the tide of negativity and get washed away for a period of the game.
Second, they got contributions from two key players. Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri both hit the score sheet tonight. Twice in the case of Brock Nelson. Brock hadn’t scored since April 20 and only had one goal since April 8. That’s way too long for someone as good as Brock.
For Palmieri, he’s been fighting it for a while now. Since being acquired by the Isles he had one goal over the 15 games since the trade. Today, popping in his second off a power move on the breakaway was exactly what he, and the Isles needed.
One more game left on the schedule before the postseason, ideally they can keep the momentum going off this win.
New York Islanders take a big win on a big night
Brock Nelson (2G, 3SOG): Nelson needed this badly. Again, he hadn’t scored in a while. With the regular season coming to a close, feeling good about his game was a must. Scoring twice tonight certainly did that.
The Nelson-Beauvillier-Bailey line had four points tonight. This is going to be a wildly important line for the Islanders going forward.
Mathew Barzal (1G, 1A): Barzal had two points over his last five games. It’s been a little slow for him, even getting a spot on the scratchpad for some load management. Tonight, Barzal was at his best by either setting up a goal or burying one himself for a multi-point night.
Oliver Wahlstrom (2A, 5SOG): Perfect game from Oliver Wahlstrom tonight. Honestly. He was shooting the puck from just about everywhere and finding teammates when he couldn’t get in a lane. He had two primary assists tonight.
The helper he put up for Palmieri’s breakaway goal was delectable.
Anthony Beauvillier: Beau (and just about the rest of the Isles team) was caught puck watching on the Devils only goal. Barzal, who was at the point, probably could have warned Beau that Johnsson was coming in, but Beauvillier should have been more aware.
Andy Greene (-0.89 GS): Greene was one of the worst skaters in terms of game score tonight. The veteran D-man has been struggling of late and tonight was no exception.
Travis Zajac (-1.28 GS): He was one of the worst game scores tonight. Only a few Devils players and Blackwood had lower scores. Travis Zajac‘s 23.2% xGF was a key factor for that low game score.