HOW IT HAPPENED
Brock Nelson scored his team-leading 10th goal at 6:10 of the third period, lifting the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night at Nationwide Arena. The Islanders jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Oliver Wahlstrom at 17:26 of the first period, with rookie Simon Holmstrom picking up his first NHL point on the play. In the second, JG Pageau scored his third goal in two games on the power play, taking the rebound of Noah Dobson's shot off the boards and stuffing it into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Columbus took advantage of a two-minute 5-on-3 power-play and scored twice in 33 seconds to tie the game. Yegor Chinakhov cut it to 2-1 at 14:05, and Kent Johnson tied it when playing 5-on-4. Mathew Barzal had two assists, and Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves for the Islanders (14-8-0), who have won three straight. Johnny Gaudreau had two assists, and Joonas Korpisalo made 21 saves for the Blue Jackets (7-12-1), who have lost two in a row and three of four.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
How about the play of JG Pageau? After his best game of the year, one where he scored both shorthanded and on the power play, all while harassing Connor McDavid at every opportunity, Pageau scored again on the power play on Friday and now has five goals and two assists across his last seven games. Pageau was efficient as always in the face-off dot 15 of his 26 draws (58%).
"He does a really good job in that spot of hunting pucks and getting available for pucks," Head Coach Lane Lambert said of Pageau. "It's a very important position on the power play because you relieve pressure and you recover pucks and he's very good at it."
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Isles lost momentum in a game they were seemingly in control of heading into the third period on the road because of penalties. For the second-straight game, the Islanders were short-handed four times. It didn't hurt them against Edmonton, but it did in Columbus, who entered play with the 31st-best power play in the league, although it has been much improved in November.
But the team showed a lot of poise after Columbus scored two goals in 33 seconds to tie the game after a questionable call on Adam Pelech gave them a two-man advantage for a full two minutes.
"Obviously, it was a little bit of adversity, but that's not a bad thing," Lambert said after the game. "I thought our guys handled it well. At the end of the day, we had to come out and win the third period and win the hockey game." The Islanders continued their third-period dominance, having now out-scored their opponents 32-19 in the final 20 minutes following Nelson's goal.
Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, with his pair of assists, Barzal now leads the NHL in assists with 23 and the Isles in points with 25. Barzal is on pace for career highs in assists (86) and points (93). The Isles center now has a seven-game point streak and has points in eight straight games against Columbus (5-8-13), representing his longest streak against any opponent.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Ilya Sorokin didn't need 49 saves on Friday, night but still made a handful of trademark saves amongst his 24 to lead the Isles to another win. After the game, he noticed an Islanders fan with a sign directed towards him in Russian and
It's 80's night at UBS Arena, and the Islanders take on the Philadelphia Flyers, the team they beat in the 1980 Stanley Cup Final. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.