HOW IT HAPPENED
The Islanders scored five unanswered goals, including four in the third period, to rally from a 3-0 deficit and defeat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Saturday night at UBS Arena. Scott Mayfield tied the game in the third, and Anthony Beauviller scored 17 seconds later to give the Isles the lead. Brock Nelson added an empty net goal for his third in two games. Zach Parise and Noah Dobson also scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves to extend the Isles win streak to three games. Varlamov became the 12th goalie in team history to record 50 wins.
For Colorado, Evan Rodrigues had two goals and an assist, Mikko Rantanen came out of the penalty box to score on a breakaway, and also added an assist. Alex Newhook scored to cut the deficit to one in the final minute. Alexandar Georgiev had 39 saves.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
How about this shift? The best of Barzal was on display with the Islanders down 3-2 and looking for the equalizer. The Islanders were relentless, and Colorado could not corral a rebound to clear the zone on multiple occasions. With tired legs, they were helpless against Barzal's puck possession. The shift culminated in Barzal finding Scott Mayfield, who snuck in behind the defense to beat Georgiev and tie the game at 3-3. As we know, it wouldn't last that way for long.
WHAT WENT WRONG
After Casey Cizikas took a penalty near the end of the third period, Evan Rodrigues scored 46 seconds into the second to end the Islanders' penalty-kill streak at 28. The Isles played 51:16 short this season before allowing a goal, setting a new NHL record for not allowing a PP goal in their first eight games of the season.
STATS OF THE GAME
Then comeback marked the first time the Islanders have rallied from down three goals and won in regulation at home since 10/23/1984 vs. the Vancouver Canucks.
Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, the Isles now lead the NHL in goals from defensemen with nine and their 23 points is second only to the Avs' 24. Mathew Barzal now has ten assists in the first nine games; Barzal is the first Islander since Vladimir Malakhov (1993-94; 11 assists) with at least ten helpers thru the Isles' first nine games.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
Before the game, the Islanders help a ceremony for Josh Bailey after he reached the 1,000 games played milestone on Friday night in Carolina. After a video tribute, Anders Lee and Cal Clutterbuck presented Bailey with a silver stick, a signed "1,000" jersey by the team and a painting. The entire team then came out to take a photo with Bailey and his family. It was very well done.
The Islanders start a three-game road trip in Chicago on Tuesday night when they take on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and the Blackhawks. Face-off is set for 8:30 PM EST.