The New York Islanders closed out this stretch of games with another back and forth affair and a big win against the Carolina Hurricanes. The top line was great, with Anders Lee picking up a goal and two assists, Bo Horvat getting a goal and an assist, and Mat Barzal registering two assists tonight.
The vibes are good heading into the Christmas break, with the Islanders picking up 15 points in their last 10 games, putting them into second place in the division.
Martin Necas took a high sticking penalty early, but the Islanders couldn’t convert on a power play that seems to have cooled down a bit.
Robert Bortuzzo went to the box for roughing Andrei Svechnikov, but the Isles killed that penalty.
Then, the Islanders’ Sebastian Aho would score his first goal of the season, finding the puck in the high slot and putting it past Pyotr Kochetkov.
A minute later, Teuvo Teravainen tied the game, but then two minutes after that, Brock Nelson would restore the lead.
And then, Mat Barzal set up Bo Horvat to make it 3-1 a few minutes later.
Less than a minute into the second, Mike Reilly took an interference penalty, and Carolina’s Sebastian Aho made it 3-2.
Pierre Engvall was called for hooking, but that penalty was counteracted by Seth Jarvis heading to the box for hooking just 4 seconds later, but neither team would score on the 4 on 4.
With a little more than 5 minutes left in the period, Barzal found Reilly to restore the two goal lead, making it 4-2.
Early in the third, Jaccob Slavin scored to get the Hurricanes back within one, but a couple of minutes later, the Islanders responded via a goal Kochetkov definitely wants back from Anders Lee.
LEE WITH THE NO LOOK GOOAL pic.twitter.com/FyW2D2AyAd— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 24, 2023
A few minutes later, Lee was called for hooking Brady Skjei, and Stefan Noesen scored on the power play to make it 5-4.
With significant help from Ilya Sorokin, including an extra-alert save off a weird bounce, the Islanders were able to hold on to the lead, even as they continue to be the only team in the NHL to not score an empty net goal this year.
A big win going into the Christmas break, leaving the Islanders second in the Metropolitan division. Nice stuff from the boys.
Next, the Islanders have a few days off, but will return to UBS Arena on December 27 to play the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Park at Belmont is going to be open before the game, which looks like a ton of fun and worth checking out if you’re gonna be in attendance.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone!