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Islanders 2, Hurricanes 1: Goals from Lee, Pulock lead Isles

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The New York Islanders earn their first two back to back wins of the season off strong performances from the team’s top players.

NHL: New York Islanders at Carolina Hurricanes
Opening this season’s account.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

After dominating the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Islanders flew to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes in a late afternoon/early evening game that seemed like a scheduled loss. However, a quick power play goal early in the game by Anders Lee set the tone, and Thomas Greiss and the Islanders defense were able to hold off the Hurricanes from getting momentum back. Ryan Pulock scored the game winner with his first goal of the year, and the Isles earned their first back-to-back wins of the year.

[Game Sum | Event Sum | Natural Stat Trick | HockeyViz | Corsica]

The Recap

Less than five minutes into the game, the Islanders earned a power play off a Jordan Staal hooking minor, which led to a great set play by the first power play unit to find Anders Lee alone in the slot for a deflected shot goal. The Canes’ penalty kill, which has been atrocious to start the season, looked just as bad as advertised, as no one even pressured Lee in his “office.” After that one power play, the Hurricanes penalty kill stood strong, and the Isles were largely ineffective at generating chances or even getting into the zone. Not encouraging against a terrible penalty kill.

However, the Hurricanes are still one of the hottest teams in the NHL, and the best possession team in the NHL, so the game would not be easy. Early into the second period, in which the Hurricanes pumped out 19 shots on goal to the Islanders’ 9, Teuvo Teravainen took advantage of a big rebound from Greiss to tie the game.

The Islanders would come back, though, through a stylish Ryan Pulock goal. Nick Leddy made a strong play defensively to spring the offense, where Anders Lee found Pulock, who spun around to make space for his shot, which gave the Isles the lead. They held on to that lead for the rest of the game, earning another two points to close out the weekend.

The Goals

Quick Thoughts

  • That power play is... not good. Pretty much the only time they’re generating offensive opportunities is if they win the faceoff, and Mathew Barzal isn’t consistent enough to make that a viable play the majority of the time. They’re going to have to adjust, because scoring on the power play is going to be a lot easier for this team than it will be at 5v5.
  • The Beauvillier-Barzal-Eberle line had another great game together, and I think Trotz made the right move to bring them back. They can consistently cycle the puck and generate offensive opportunities at 5v5, something this team desperately needs.
  • Anders Lee had another great game, notching a goal and an assist tonight. The Isles need to sign him sooner rather than later, or they need to move him, unfortunately.
  • Thomas Greiss is something of a Hurricane killer at this point, allowing only two goals in his two games this season against them, and boasting a save percentage in the .940s in his 4 previous games against them.

Up Next

Next, the Islanders head to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. The Penguins are 6-1-2 and 1st in the Metro Division, and always a tough opponent. We’ll see if the Isles can turn this into a three-game win streak.