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Islanders 4, Hurricanes 1: Continuing to dominate the division

Aside from the (very big) blemish against the Rangers Wednesday, the Islanders are perfect against their own division.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders
This goal was lovely. Nelson calmly corralled it in mid-air.
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle of two teams playing on a back-to-back, the team that traveled less got the better of its counterpart.

Even though the Islanders played 3 games in 4 nights, two of which were on the road, they were able to sleep in their own beds every night. And it probably doesn’t make a huge difference, but the Isles finished up their game before 7:00 p.m. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, flew up from North Carolina last night, and their game started at 7:00 p.m.

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

FIG Tampering at Its Finest

Leave your FIGs for tonight’s game here. I bet it’s Valtteri Filppula. Is this considered FIG tampering? Am I being detained?

Folks, I swear on my life that I am not from the future, nor have I been there before. Hell, I can’t even see into it. I wrote this half-awake around midnight last night. I thought I was being cheeky, funny even, but I thought absolutely nothing of it.

Improbably, unbelievably, Valtteri Filppula recorded the first Islanders goal of the game. And it was no fluke. It was a beaut! I’m really starting to wonder if these bastards read this blog.

Beauvillier is Coming On

After recording only one point through, what, 15 games? Anthony Beauvillier now has 6 goals on the season. Not without some help, though. Josh Bailey sent a beautiful pass through the slot to feed him.

Bailey Gets One of His Own

Then, it was Bailey’s turn to add his name to the goal list. A nice play by the entire unit out there at the time, the play was finished up when Brock Nelson knocked a puck out of mid-air behind the net to himself and wove the puck to Bailey in the slot.

Pelech Finds His Way Onto Scoresheet

About midway through the third, Nelson and Anders Lee led a 3-on-2 with Adam Pelech. Lee sent a pass across to Pelech as they entered the zone, and Pelech carried a couple paces before firing the puck past Scott Darling to put the game out of reach at 4-0.

Greiss Stands Tall

As you know, I almost never advocate that a goalie play two games in two nights. The only situation I think it’s okay is when an organization only has two capable NHL goaltenders and the next guy up, if one of the two NHLers gets hurt, is dreadful. That was not the case tonight, as Robin Lehner is ostensibly healthy and certainly a capable NHL goaltender. And yet, Barry Trotz went with Thomas Greiss for the second night in a row.

He seems to play well against the ‘Canes, and it makes sense that Trotz went with him tonight, but you’d think that meant Lehner got the call last night. Perhaps, after the debacle against the Rangers, Trotz wasn’t feeling the big Swede on either night, and like I said, normally I’d disagree with that strategy. But it undeniably worked out this weekend, so kudos to Trotz for taking the risk. Greiss lost the shutout with about 6:00 remaining in the game after a botched cover-up/clearing attempt led to a Justin Williams power play goal, but played solidly throughout the game to give the Isles the win in regulation.

Up Next

The Islanders take their 9-1-0 Metro Division record into Monday night’s game against the Capitals at Barclays Center. The game will be Trotz’s first match-up against the team he coached for the last four seasons and won the Stanley Cup with last season.