Throughout the week of February 19th, the NY Islanders played three games. The first of which came on Monday, February 20, as the Islanders traveled to Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in what was probably the biggest game of the season so far.
The Islanders were able to walk away with the victory, 4-2. With the Islanders' star player, Mat Barzal, injured and listed as week-to-week, Lane Lambert figured he would mess with the lines a little bit, and put together a new first line that consisted of Matt Martin, Bo Horvat, and Anders Lee.
The Islanders new first line played together for the first time in Pittsburgh, and they did not disappoint. Martin came up big with an assist to Lee in the middle of the third period to give the Islanders the 3-2 lead. This would be the game-winning goal as Pittsburgh would not be able to come back.
The next time the Islanders took the ice was on Wednesday, February 22, when the Islanders welcomed the Winnipeg Jets to the UBS Arena. Martin once again came up big, helping to find Simon Holmstrom halfway through the third period to score the game-winning goal and put the Islanders up, 2-1. This would remain the final score, as the Islanders won their second game in a row to maintain their first wildcard spot.
On Friday night, luck would not be on the Islanders' side, as the Islanders welcomed the Los Angeles Kings to the UBS Arena. Martin was able to find Adam Pelech with less than five minutes in the third period to bring the Islanders back to within one, but unfortunately, it was not to be as the Islanders fell to the Kings, 3-2.
"We've had a few moments like throughout the course of the season where a team scores a goal and we allowed the momentum swing to be too big and we got to respond right after that a little better."- Matt Martin on loss to Kings
Since his debut with the Islanders back in the 2009-10 season, Islanders fans knew that Martin was never going to be a 30-point player. His highest scoring season came back in 2015-16 when he picked up 10 goals, and nine assists for a total of 19 points. However, this season, Martin looks on pace to break his season-high in points.
So far, Martin has picked up seven goals, and 12 assists. The 12 assists are already a career-high for the left winger. He has also already tied his career high in points in a single season, and with a lot of games still to play, Matt Martin could very well break his personal record. Since his move to the first line, Martin has shown a lot more promise and will continue to be a force on the ice.