The Islanders continued to win the second game of a back-to-back and are now 9-0-0 in those situations, and they are now able to open a bigger lead in the division. They have also, the last two games, looked a lot more like the team that dominated the month of January.
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Beau Sneaks by the Wild ‘D’
With the Islanders controlling play through much of the first period, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk had to be on his toes, and he was, holding New York off the scoresheet until there were about six minutes remaining in the first.
It was then that Leo Komarov retrieved a puck from the neutral zone and flipped it up to Valtteri Filppula as he entered the zone. Anthony Beauvillier was able to slide his way around Minnesota’s defenders and get open ice and Filppula found him breaking in alone. He drifted in and went for Dubnyk’s five-hole, and it trickled through his legs to give the Isles a 1-0 lead.
Early Minnesota Goal To Tie
A bad hit by Scott Mayfield drew a boarding call right at the end of the first and the Wild began the second period on the power play.
The Wild made good use of that power play, converting 38 seconds into the second off a rebound chance that a diving Thomas Greiss wasn’t able to reach. Mikael Granlund would be the one to record the goal.
Toews Takes the Lead
The Islanders were awarded a power play of their own as part of a stretch of penalties taken by both teams to start the period, and they would get the lead right back, thanks to the second power play unit.
A shot that Dubnyk turned aside was recovered below the goal line by Ryan Pulock and he found Devon Toews floating in from the point to rip a one-timer from the top of the face-off circle to give the Isles the lead that they’d hold on to through the rest of the game.
Goalie Driven Third Period
The Wild, as one might expect, tried their damnedest to tie the game up again but were unable to solve Greiss, who was clutch in holding off Minnesota. Especially because Minnesota generated some pretty good scoring chances, to my eye.
The Islanders did have a few chances of their own during the period that they weren’t able to capitalize on. They were also the beneficiaries of a late high-sticking penalty taken by Jonas Brodin on Nick Leddy with under four minutes to play, leaving the Wild only a couple of minutes to tie it back up at the end. Greiss didn’t let them in.
Thoughts and Up Next
Beauvillier was a monster all game, creating 7 shots on goal of his own and helping his line with Filppula and Komarov dominate the whole game. Toews was a beast as well, allowing virtually nothing while he was on the ice. Greiss continued the goalies’ stellar run.
The Islanders next play on Tuesday night, visiting the Buffalo Sabres at 7:00 p.m. They will wake up tomorrow morning with a five-point lead in the Metro Division.