HOW IT HAPPENED
The NY Islanders couldn't contain the revitalized Jamie Benn as the Dallas Stars captain tallied three points, scoring the game-winning goal and contributing two assists on Saturday night. Mason Marchment, Joe Pavelski, and Tyler Seguin also contributed multi-point efforts, and Jason Robertson stayed hot scoring his 12th goal of the season. Jake Oettinger's workload wasn't overwhelming as he made 27 saves on 29 shots. Mathew Barzal scored his first and second goals of the season, the only two goals the Islanders recorded on the night. The second of Barzal's two goals came on the power play in the second period to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. At even strength, the Stars answered right back as Marchment tied things at two just 40 seconds later. Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves on 35 shots.
The Stars locked things down in the third period, scoring three goals while limiting the Islanders' chances.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Despite being tied for the lead in points on the Islanders, Barzal had no goals in 18 games coming into Saturday night's contest against the Stars. Barzal opened the game's scoring in the second period after a scoreless first, redirecting an Alexander Romanov shot past Oettinger to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
Later in the period with the game tied at one, the Islanders went to the power play. Barzal took a pass from Nelson, drove to the middle of the ice, gained the slot, and beat Oettinger glove-side to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead.
"I'm excited to score whether it's my first or my fifth," Barzal said. "I know you guys were making a deal of [not having a goal], but I wasn't bothered for a second. It's literally just about making an impact and helping the team win. That's really it."
WHAT WENT WRONG
The Islanders weren't able to maintain a lead in Saturday nights contest, on a night where Barzal tried to put the team on his back and carry the weight. Twice in the contest, Barzal gave the Islanders a lead, however, defensive zone breakdowns shortly after pulling ahead nullified any lead the Islanders had.
Radek Faksa tied things for the Stars in the second period five minutes and 20 seconds after Barzal's first goal, while Marchment tied things again later in the period, just 40 seconds after the Islanders took their second lead of the game.
- According to Eric Hornick, Barzal's 19 assists before scoring his first (and second) goal of the season is the fourth-most among forwards in NHL history.
- The Isles are 5-3-0 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-1-0 when the shots are even, and 6-4-0 when they are outshot.
- The Isles are 5-4-0 when they score at least one power-play goal and 6-4-0 when they do not. The Isles are 6-3-0 when they allow at least one power-play goal and 5-5-0 when they do not.
- Zach Parise played in his 101st consecutive Islander game; he has played in every game since joining the team in October 2021.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
The storyline for the Islanders last night was all about Barzal scoring his first goal of the season. Barzal himself played it off as no big deal that he hadn't scored through his first 18 games, however, he was grinning ear to ear after getting the monkey off his back in the second period.
The Islanders head to Toronto next to take on John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night. They'll look to snap a two-game skid against an inconsistent Maple Leafs team. Puck drop is at 7:30 PM.