HOW IT HAPPENED
Vegas goaltender Adin Hill made 41 saves in his first game since Dec. 17 as the Golden Knights held on to defeat the New York Islanders 3-2 at UBS Arena on Tuesday night. Ivan Barbashev and Nicolas Roy both scored and had an assist for Vegas (28-14-16). Sheldon Rempal scored his first NHL goal, and Alex Pietrangelo had two assists in the win. Brock Nelson scored for his 500th NHL point and JG Pageau scored a short-handed goal for the Islanders (20-16-11). Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves in the loss.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The stats will show that the Islanders played one of their better games of the season. They had 82 total shot attempts (2nd most this season) and 16 high-danger chances compared to just six for the Vegas Golden Knights. Overall, they outshot the defending Stanley Cup champions 42 to 27, the type of performance that will lead to wins on most nights.
“Sometimes the hockey gods are not on your side and today that was the case,” head coach Patrick Roy said. “Great progression from our guys and sometimes you don't necessarily get rewarded for what you do. But if we keep progressing like we are right now, we'll win a lot of games.”
For the most part of the game, the Islanders did what they wanted to with the puck and dictated the play, creating plenty of scoring chances. The problem is the miscues and mistakes have yet to leave their system, and a pair of defensive zone turnovers and a bad goal allowed in the second period were the difference.
“We played extremely hard and executed a lot of things that we've been talking about last couple days,” Anders Lee said. “We played a really hard game against a good hockey team and one of those nights where we just weren't able to get an extra puck in the net.”
WHAT WENT WRONG
There were fewer turnovers, but the ones they made were costly. Defenseman Adam Pelech's backhanded clearing attempt in the first period left to the game's first goal and then down 2-1 in the second period, Noah Dobson turned the puck over in the middle of the ice, allowing Vegas to enter the zone with numbers and led to Nicolas Roy's rebound goal that proved to be the game-winner.
“We just have to make better decisions,” Dobson said. “Mistakes happen, you just have to try and limit them. I can’t be throwing pucks in the middle… We’ll learn from it and keep getting better."
STATS OF THE GAME
Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, Brock Nelson's second period goal was his 500th point; he passed Derek King for 12th place on the club's all-time point list and became the 12th player with 500 point. Nelson is one of only 21 NHL players with at least 94 goals over the last 2 ½ seasons
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
IHockey is for everyone. It was pride night at UBS Arena.
The Islanders visit the old home of their new coach when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night. Face-off is 7:00 PM EST.