They sure make it interesting, don’t they? For the second time in their last two games, the Islanders’ point streak has been in jeopardy late in the third. Much like their game against the Flyers on Saturday, however, the Isles would make a comeback and pull out the win. Brock Nelson scored the initial game tying goal at 2-2 and eventually the game winner, though Ryan Pulock’s blast to tie it at 4-4 will be the most memorable. Nick Leddy managed to have an under the radar three point night, and Anthony Beauvillier and Derick Brassard stayed hot, Beau with six points in his last three games and Brassard with seven.
After an early power play for the Penguins was killed, Josh Bailey drew one back for the Isles. However, Mathew Barzal uncharacteristically turned the puck over in the neutral zone, setting up a shorthanded 2 on 1 that the Penguins scored on. Or.. appeared to have scored on. The Islanders challenged the play as offsides, and it turned out to be correct - the goal was quickly overturned.
Cal Clutterbuck drew a penalty, Dal Colle got a good shot on Matt Murray, but Nick Leddy took a sloppy offensive zone penalty that cut the Isles power play short. Rust would score (for real this time) for the Penguins on that power play. Five minutes later, Brandon Tanev would tip the puck in to give the Pens a 2-0 lead.
There was also a scary moment in the period when Ryan Pulock took a shot that hit Nelson’s helmet hard enough to break a piece off. Nelson left the ice but returned shortly after, and though he seems to be fine, you have to wonder exactly what it takes to get pulled into concussion testing if “100mph slapshot to the head” isn’t one of them.
Beauvillier would cut the lead in half early in the second with a great shot from the slot that beat Murray cleanly. Beau’s been getting some good looks in that general area of the ice, and it’s great to see him continue his hot streak.
A few minutes later, Brock Nelson would tie the game, deflecting a Nick Leddy shot from the point. After that, the Pens and Isles exchanged some good chances, with Varlamov coming up big against Guentzel, Galchenyuk, and Rust. Matt Murray also had a huge save on Anders Lee, and Mathew Barzal shot the puck wide on what looked like an open net.
Leddy with the !— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 20, 2019
Nelson with the tip! pic.twitter.com/2NrHK0BDHT
Brandon Tanev then gave the Pens the lead again with a wraparound attempt that both Adam Pelech and Varlamov lost track of.
Barzal took a penalty early and Jake Guentzel scored on the power play, which resulted in Trotz benching Barzal briefly after an overall sloppy game from him.
Bryan Rust went to the box for tripping, and despite the power play, it seemed like the point streak might come to an end after Murray stopped another nice Eberle shot. However, just as the penalty expired, Devon Toews carried the puck up the ice, handed it off to Eberle, who made a fantastic backhand pass to an open Josh Bailey who brought the Islanders back within one.
BAILEY WITH A BEAUTY! pic.twitter.com/9qjLONiesI— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 20, 2019
Just a few minutes later, with the net pulled, Derick Brassard got the puck to Ryan Pulock, who let off a bomb of a slapshot that beat Murray to tie the game. The Isles would bring this to overtime, keeping the now franchise record-tying point streak alive.
The Isles’ OT forward units of Cizikas-Eberle and Beauvillier-Nelson had some great moments in 3v3, as Brock Nelson scored his second of the night to win the game for the Islanders and complete the comeback, returning the favor from the last game against the Penguins.
Next, the Islanders will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins again, but in Brooklyn. Both games so far against the Isles’ Metro division rival have gone to overtime and featured big comebacks, so it’s sure to be an exciting one!