HOW IT HAPPENED
Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee scored six seconds apart in a three-goal second period as the New York Islanders extended their winning streak to three and defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-3 at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday night. Kyle Palmieri, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Simon Holmstrom each had a goal for the Isles (8-6-5), who played most of the game down two defensemen after Adam Pelech and Sebastian Aho both left just four minutes into the game and did not return. Semyon Varlamov stopped 28 shots in the win. The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for Ottawa (8-8-), who hadn't played since last Saturday in Sweden. Drake Batherson scored twice and Tim Stutzle added his fifth goal of the season. Anton Forsberg made 21 saves in the loss.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The night can't be finished without applauding the four Islanders defensemen who did the absolute most tonight, filling in for Pelech and Aho after their injuries. After the game, teammates and coaches noted that it was a "gutsy" effort for the four guys on the blue line.
As many minutes as they played, Thomas Hickey noted that the team allowed the Senators one less minute of zone time than their average this season - impressive stuff. Dobson broke his record for most time on ice in a game, playing 31:05 minutes. Romanov was right behind him with 30:02, Mayfield played 28:47, and Pulock played just 26:19. As a whole, the Islanders blocked 31 shots throughout the night, with the defensemen getting 19 blocks on their own.
Oliver Wahlstrom was impactful both offensively and defensively when it mattered most. The third line of Lee-Palmieri-Wahlstrom has improved throughout this three-game win streak, and each player was a solid contributor last night. Wahlstrom struggled at the beginning of the season but appears to have found his confidence and has solidified a spot in the lineup. Wahlstrom is getting his swagger back and last night showed off a different dimension when he deflected Alexander Romanov's shot for a 2-1 lead early in the second period.
WHAT WENT WRONG
After Lee's goal made it 4-1. the Islanders let up two goals in just 47 seconds. The Islanders' struggles holding multi-goal leads have been well documented and although they never surrendered the lead, going to the third with only a one-goal advantage was disappointing.
The Isles must stop letting their opponents regain momentum after big plays and goals. They scored two goals in six seconds, and a few minutes later, they were erased. After goals, the Isles need to come out stronger and harder and continue to take the momentum away from their opponents. They also need to do better at sustaining pressure after letting goals up.
STATS OF THE GAME
Per NHL PR, the Islanders tied the franchise record for the fastest two goals against a goaltender, with the Mat Barzal and Anders Lee goals coming just 6 seconds apart.
They tied with legends Clark Gillies and Mike Bossy who did it on Oct. 27, 1979 vs. Chicago.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Alan Fuehring and Butch Goring had a few chirps with each other on the broadcast after Goring asked Fuehring if he knew who baseball legend Willie Mays was. Fuerhing chirped back at Butc, asking how it was when Babe Ruth played. Love to see our commentators having a fun time calling the game.
The Isles travel back to Long Island tonight to take on the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow at 7:30 pm at UBS Arena. The Cal Clutterbuck 1,000 game ceremony will take place before puck drop.