After going 0-2-1 in their last 3 three games the Islanders finally picked up a win defeating the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 3-2. Despite a span 8 seconds where Edmonton’s Taylor Hall scored two goals and another where Edmonton had 3 power plays in 8 minutes, this was a game completely dominated by the Islanders. Josh Bailey got the scoring started with a goal in the first period. Kyle Okposo scored the game-tying goal on a power play and then later in the period John Tavares would score the eventual game-winning goal on a wrist shot from the slot area. This was an important win for the Islanders who were in danger of losing to a team with only one win.
The Important Things:
Evgeni Nabokov looked like the goalie the Islanders need to be playoff contenders as he stopped 27 of 29 shots. The two goals he allowed could be chalked up to poor Islander play as on the first goal, the defense failed to clear the zone and on the second on, Michael Grabner failed to cover his man skating to net directly after a faceoff.
John Tavares continued his hot streak as he added an assist to go along with the goal he scored. Tavares now has 9 points (4G, 5A) on this season, all coming in the last six games, where he has had at least one point in each. The only game he has failed to record a point was opening night against the Devils.
Bruisers Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck where on top of their game tonight as each of them recorded 5 hits during the game. Martin was even seen on the power play tonight, getting ice time with the second unit. Clutterbuck looks to be recovering well from the leg laceration that kept him out of the first three games as he played 11 minutes 29 seconds tonight, his most since returning from injury.
The Value of Special Teams:
The Islanders penalty kill was a perfect 3 for 3 tonight. Edmonton totaled 9 shots combined on the PP tonight. It was another perfect night for the penalty kill as the Islanders have now killed 6 of the their last 7 penalties.
Players Still Shuffling:
Colin McDonald returned to the ice tonight after missing Tuesday’s game with what was being called a hip injury. Matt Donovan also returned to the ice tonight and logged close to 14 minutes of ice time. Brock Nelson was a healthy scratch yet again and there are rumblings of a possible demotion to the AHL. It honestly wouldn’t be the worst thing as young players need to play.
The Islanders (3-2-2) continue their home stand on Saturday as they play host to the Carolina Hurricanes. Play is scheduled to start at 7pm.