The Upshot: NY Islanders Take Down Ducks 6-1 For Sixth Straight Win

With tonight's win in Anaheim, the Islanders moved into playoff position and now control their own destiny.

Semyon Varlamov was terrific in goal for the NY Islanders, who won their sixth straight game tonight in Anaheim.
Semyon Varlamov was terrific in goal for the NY Islanders, who won their sixth straight game tonight in Anaheim. / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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HOW IT HAPPENED

The NY Islanders defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-1 tonight. In putting up their sixth straight win, the Isles moved into playoff position for the first time since January 13. While the Islanders only had 19 shots on goal for the night, they made the most of those opportunities, scoring 6 goals to pile on the Ducks.

The first period started out with a bang, as Casey Cizikas scored his 8th goal on the season five minutes into the game, off a beautiful setup from Simon Holmstrom. Just two minutes later, Kyle Palmieri- who has been on an absolute tear of late- took a breakaway pass from Mike Reilly and slid one past Lukas Dostal for his 20th of the season. Not to be outdone, Brock Nelson scored his 29th of the season on a power play 14:28 into the first, giving the Islanders a 3-0 lead.

The second period started off poorly for the Isles, as Alex Killorn scored his 12th goal of the season just 24 seconds into the period. But whereas the Islanders from a few months ago might have wilted here, they stood strong tonight. Even though they did not record a shot on goal for the first 13 minutes of the period, they also did not allow any more damage. Semyon Varlamov, playing his first game since February 22, stood strong in net, and the Isles took that 3-1 lead into the third.

As evidenced by the final score, the Islanders piled on and put the game away in the third. Just 34 seconds into the third, Bo Horvat scored his 26th goal of the season to make it 4-1. That goal seemed to sap whatever energy the Ducks brought into the period, and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. Pierre Engvall and Cal Clutterbuck would add goals later in the period, and the Islanders escaped Anaheim with a convincing 6-1 win over the Ducks.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

This was a balanced win tonight, with all four lines recording at least one goal. Semyon Varlamov played great in net, and the defense was strong all night. Bo Horvat has had a terrific season for the Islanders, and was excellent tonight. Beyond scoring his 26th goal of the season, Horvat also won 13 out of 17 faceoffs and added an assist. It was a terrific performance all around for the Isles' star center, who now has 58 points in 62 games this season. Pierre Engvall's speed was evident when he scored his goal, and it is imperative for the Isles' chances the rest of this season that Engvall use that speed effectively every night.

WHAT WENT WRONG

The second period was not ideal for the Islanders, who didn't record a shot on goal for the first 13:38 of the period. But Semyon Varlamov's strong play meant that this slow period did not ruin their night, as the Isles still were up 3-1 after two. Of course, they would go on to put the Ducks away in the third. The Islanders were outshot 23-19, which is slightly concerning, but considering the ineffectiveness of Lukas Dostal combined with the effectiveness of Semyon Varlamov, the shot differential didn't matter much tonight.

STATS OF THE GAME

Patrick Roy
Patrick Roy has been a great fit as head coach of the NY Islanders, who are now 10-5-3 since bringing him onboard. / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

- Bo Horvat scored a goal for the third straight game. This is the second time this season Horvat has scored goals in three straight games.

- Mathew Barzal led all Islanders forwards in TOI with 20:26. Barzal has earned more trust with his great play all season, and his chemistry with Bo Horvat is a big reason why the Islanders have turned their season around in recent weeks.

- Kyle Palmieri scored his 20th goal of the season tonight. This is his sixth season with 20+ goals in his career, and his first time accomplishing the feat as an Islander.

- The Islanders killed off both Ducks' power plays tonight. Their penalty kill has been much improved in recent weeks, which is another big reason for the turnaround.

- The Islanders won 55% of their faceoffs tonight, and are top-10 in the NHL in faceoff percentage as a team this season.

- The Islanders are now 10-5-3 since hiring Patrick Roy, who has proven to be the perfect fit as head coach of this team.

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME

If you thought it was loud on TV whenever the Islanders scored a goal, you weren't hearing things! Islanders fans are known to travel well, and tonight was no different, as a large contingent of fans from the Los Angeles and San Diego meetup groups were in attendance tonight.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Islanders are right back at it tomorrow night on the road against the Los Angeles Kings. Puck drop is scheduled for 10:30 PM ET.