HOW IT HAPPENED
Behind 36 saves from Semyon Varlamov and two power-play goals, the Islanders defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-2 Canadian Tire Centre on Monday Night. Noah Dobson had a goal and an assist, and Mathew Barzal had two more assists for the Islanders (11-6-0), who got power-play goals from Oliver Wahlstrom and JG Pageau.
Brock Nelson added an empty net goal to seal the win. Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist for the Senators (5-9-1), who have lost eight of nine (1-7-1). Cam Talbot made 31 saves in defeat.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The power-play scored twice on Monday night. At 11:53 of the first period, Oliver Wahlstrom put the Isles in front on the power play as he ripped a low, hard wrist shot past Talbot for a 1-0 lead. Barzal picked up an assist, but the primary went to Anders Lee, who thread the cross-ice pass through the defender’s legs and on the tape of Wahlstrom’s stick.
JG Pageau scored the eventual game-winning goal at the 8:21 mark on the power play in the third period when he collected a bouncing rebound off a Dobson shot and was able to backhand it past Talbot for his second goal of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Too many penalties. The Islanders played much of the game short-handed after taking six penalties. This included a 5-on-3 the Senators converted following a double-minor penalty on Scott Mayfield. Fortunately, the Isles were able to kill the nearly four minutes remaining on the Mayfield penalty after the game and prevented Ottawa from taking the lead.
"They have a good power play, but we were well prepared," Pageau said. "The guys battled hard, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of blocked shots and battles that we won. Varly in net was outstanding."
STATS OF THE GAME
Per Eric Hornick in The Skinny, Mathew Barzal is the first Islander in 38 years to have at least eighteen assists in the first seventeen games. Four players (Mike Bossy, Brent Sutter, Pat LaFontaine and John Tonelli) did so that year.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME
During the second intermission, Shannon Hogan and, to a lesser extent, Thomas Hickey had to be quick on their feet as a Zamboni was coming off the ice and headed right for them.
After two nights off, the Islanders continue their road trip in Nashville where they take on the Predators on Thursday night. Puck drop is at 8 p.m