The New York Islanders were lucky to get the win in Columbus after failing to put together a strong effort in the second and third periods against a tired Blue Jackets team on the end of a back to back. However, their first period was probably the strongest of the season with Mathew Barzal and Michael Dal Colle scoring, and Thomas Greiss was sharp enough to keep the Isles in it all game.
Rookie Oliver Wahlstrom nearly opened the scoring when a nice shot hit the crossbar after beating Joonas Korpisalo. At the other end, Thomas Greiss fumbled a rebound but Nick Leddy was able to clean it up to keep the game tied at zero.
Mathew Barzal picked up where he left off against Winnipeg as he opened up the scoring tonight after he picked up the puck after it bounced off Zach Werenski’s skate, putting it five-hole past Korpisalo.
Later, Matt Martin nearly got a deflection on Adam Pelech’s shot, and he couldn’t get his own rebound on an open net.
Seth Jones then tied it for Columbus after the Isles failed to clear the zone and left him alone with some time and space.
Anthony Beauvillier restored the Isles’ lead after bringing the puck up into the Blue Jackets’ zone, taking a shot, and then recovering his rebound and passing it towards Michael Dal Colle who was heading to the net and scored for his first of the season.
That 2-1 lead was the Islanders first lead at the end of the first period this season. It was definitely the best opening frame effort this season, though the Isles have still struggled to put together strong 60 minute efforts. Barzal and Beauvillier also continued their hot streaks to start this season, and both of them contributing offensively regularly will be so important to the team’s success this season.
The Blue Jackets took a ton of shots early on, and their zone time led to a Scott Mayfield hooking penalty. The Isles made some good blocks, and Werenski got a good look that knocked the stick out of Greiss’ hand. As Mayfield got out of the box, he was able to get a breakaway, but put his shot high. An Oliver Wahlstrom shot ended up in Vladislav Gavrikov’s pants when the defenseman went to block the shot.
The Blue Jackets kept pressing though, hemming the Isles into their own zone for what felt like an eternity but was about three minutes (maybe an eternity in shift time!). The Islanders were extremely lucky not to get scored on.
TOI on that shift— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 20, 2019
Pelech - 3:06
Pulock - 3:06
Beauvillier - 3:06
Dal Colle - 3:06
Nelson - 2:58 https://t.co/JVfKvu1XvS
Then, taking advantage of a poor Isles zone exit attempt, Boone Jenner got his first of the season for Columbus to tie the game. Anders Lee nearly restored the Isles lead after, but couldn’t quite get the shot off.
In the third, the Isles gave up some great scoring chances to Cam Atkinson and Boone Jenner, with Jenner’s shot getting swept away at the line by Greiss. Barry Trotz called a timeout after that and looked the angriest we’ve seen him on the bench. Yelling at the players didn’t do much to stop the Blue Jackets’ huge third period push, but Thomas Greiss came up big and the Isles held on long enough to get to overtime.
The Isles went with a Brock Nelson-Anthony Beauvillier-Nick Leddy unit to start OT. 33 seconds later, the Isles had the win courtesy of Nelson who set up the play that led to his goal. He got the puck to Leddy, who took a shot that was saved by Korpisalo. Beauvillier then got Leddy’s rebound back to him, and Leddy passed it off to Nelson for the win.
- Bridgeport center Cole Bardreau made his NHL debut tonight with Leo Komarov unable to center the fourth line due to illness. Bardreau had a pretty good first game up, but likely will be sent back down to the minors once Komarov is healthy.
- Oliver Wahlstrom continues to be impressive offensively and has yet again gotten pretty close to his first NHL goal. It’ll come soon, and there’s no reason to send him down.
- Derick Brassard’s ice time was cut pretty significantly tonight. He played 11:15 tonight, and only recently scratched Matt Martin and rookies Cole Bardreau and Oliver Wahlstrom played less. It’s Brassard’s lowest ice time of the season, and a sign that Trotz isn’t happy with his play already. Get us a real 3C, Lou!
- Please stop playing Tom Kuhnhackl with Barzal and Lee.
Next, after a few days off, the Isles take on the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night back at the Coliseum. The Coyotes are 4-2-1 so far and will be playing the Rangers on Tuesday. Hopefully that extra rest will give the Isles some jump for a win!