NY Islanders winger Brock Nelson didn't do something for the first time in over six years

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three / Justin Berl/GettyImages

New York Islanders leading goal scorer Brock Nelson found himself in a new position on Tuesday night, playing on the left side on a line centered by Bo Horvat with Mathew Barzal on the other opposite wing. The shift to Nelson on the top line put the team's three most dynamic offensive forwards together, all of whom happen to be natural centers.

The belief is it's much harder to go from win to center than the other way around and now the Isles three more than capable centerman all on one line. That dynamic should also help with face-offs in the event that Horvat is thrown out of the dot. However, on this night it wasn't needed.

According to NewYorkIslanders.com's Corey Wright, Monday night's game was the was the first game Nelson didn't take a face-off since Nov. 18, 2017. That ended a streak of 480 straight games with at least one face-off for the 32-year-old from Minnesota.

Not taking a face-off was different from Nelson, but he felt overall comfortable in his new position. Head Coach Patrick Roy seemed pleased with the speed the line brought and how the other lines stepped up meaning we're likely to see the same combinations in Detroit on Thursday.

"A little different, try not to think," said Nelson after the game. "Find yourself in some different spots, a little bit different look, but try to read of Bo and Barzy. Probabably a little more Bo cause we're a little more interchangeable on the left side."

The Nelson-Horvat-Barzal line didn't register a point at even strength, though Nelson missed a wide-open net on the power play that would've extended the Islanders' lead to 2-0 in the second period. Horvat had seven shots on goal, while Barzal had four, and Nelson had two. Playing three-on-three, Barzal set up Horvat for the game-winning goal in overtime.

"I thought we had a couple transition looks," added Nelson. "Definitely would've liked to have a couple more pucks in the o-zone sustained to generate some offense, but felt alright on the wing."