NY Islanders Mat Barzal matches goals and assists milestones set during rookie season

New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings
New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The NY Islanders dominated the Winnipeg Jets this afternoon at UBS Arena with a 6-3 victory. With the season on the line for this matinee, players up and down the lineup stepped up. The Isles took an early 5-1 lead and never let up on the Jets, even after allowing two goals late in the third period. No one seems to have felt his groove today more than Mat Barzal, who had an ok few games, struggling amid team faults, but he seems to have found his footing. He was awarded the first star of the game, with a goal and two assists on the night.

In his 69th game of the season, Barzal recorded his 50th assist on Hudson Fasching's 4th goal of the season. Fasching goal brought the Isles up 4-1, as Barzal found Fasching in all alone by the faceoff circle and Barzy made no mistake getting him the puck. Fasching faked out a sprawling Connor Hellebuyck and tucked the puck into the back of the net. His 50th assist and 71st point on the season was just the second time in his young career that Barzal has reached this milestone. His first 50+ assist season came during his rookie season, playing alongside John Tavares when he finished the season with 63 assists in 82 games. With 13 games left to play this season, the Isles are hopeful that Barzal can match his career high.

Barzal loves playing big games, and couldn't finish the night without reaching another milestone. With goal number five for the Isles and goal number 22 on the season, Barzal matched his Calder season with his career-high in goals. Barzal's goal sent Hellebuyck packing as Laurent Brossoit came in to relieve the starting goaltender for the first time all season.

He wasn't done for the night though. Barzal tallied assist number 51 of the season on Anders Lee's 18th goal of the season. With a tip to Fasching, that seemed almost accidental, and a perfect tape-to-tape pass to Lee and into the back of the net. Lee's goal was the Isles' 6th and final goal of the night, and Barzal finished out his incredible game. All three players on the Barzal line had at least two points. Barzal himself had the aforementioned three, Fasching had a goal and two assists on the Barzal and Lee goals, and Lee had a goal and an assist. Hopefully, these three can stay hot, especially with tomorrow's crucial matchup against the New Jersey Devils.

The next milestone Barzal can match would be passing 86 points, again the high from his rookie season. No matter the outcome of points, this season is sure to go down as Barzal's best. Even in games where he isn't scoring or getting points, Barzal has become the Islanders' best playmaker and has been finding chemistry with new wingers amid the Islanders' recent struggling and new lineup changes. He makes a difference in almost every game and has improved his defensive game tenfold.