HOW IT HAPPENED
The Islanders couldn't solve Kevin Lankinen all night. The backup goaltender made a career-high 48 save as the Nashville Predators defeated the New York Islanders for the ninth straight time, 4-1 at UBS Arena on Friday night. Fillip Forsberg and Roman Josi each had power-play goals for the Preds12-9-2), who took a 2-0 lead heading into the third period.
Mathew Barzal scored his third goal of the season on the power-play to pull the Islanders to within one, but Matt Duchene scored his 300th career goal into an empty net as the Isles couldn't find the equalizer. Ilya Sorokin made 19 saves for the Islanders (15-10-0), who are 0-5-1 in their past six home games against Nashville.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Mathew Barzal was real good all night, leading the team with nine shots on goal. By the time he scored on the power-play with a snipe from the right circle, Barzal had already been stopped on a breakaway and had several other high quality chances before finally ending the Islanders five period scoring drought.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Islanders had no answers for Lankinen. He was very good all night but was also the beneficiary of some luck. Halfway through the first period, it appeared the Isles may have taken the lead when Anthony Beauvillier fed a pass to Anders Lee for a one-timer above the crease. The show went off Lankinen's arm before settling on the goal line. The Nashville goalie then instinctively put his left pad on the puck without knocking it past the line.
In the second period, Lankinen stopped Barzal on a breakaway to keep the Islanders off the board. In the third, he stopped 22 shots and also received help from defenseman Ryan McDonaugh who blocked Alexander Romanov’s backhander destined for the back of the net with his face.
STATS OF THE GAME
The Predators have now won 9 straight games against the Islanders dating to Feb. 5, 2018 – their longest active win streak versus one opponent. Matt Duchene scored an empty net goal for his 300th career goal to become the second player from the 2009 Draft to achieve the milestone after John Tavares (403).
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Hall of Famer Dennis Potvin showed off his "Potvin Socks" during the Islanders' first 'Legends Night' of the season. The first 10,000 fans received a limited edition Potvin bobblehead.
The Islanders are back in action trying to snap their two-game losing streak when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at UBS Arena on Sunday night. Face-off is set for 7:30 PM.