After scoring just three goals in three games away from home, the New York Islanders offense returned against the Tampa Bay Lightning, with six different players scoring for the Islanders tonight. Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Pulock, Simon Holmstrom, and Bo Horvat all put the puck in the net, and Nelson picked up the game winner along with two assists for a strong three-point night.
The win means the standings basically stay as is, level with Florida and Pittsburgh just a point behind. No one said making the playoffs would be easy...
The Islanders controlled most of the first, keeping Tampa to just three shots while they got thirteen of their own. Despite that, the chances just weren’t going in, and Kyle Palmieri took a slashing penalty that gave Tampa their best opportunity of the period. Alex Killorn nearly put a puck past Ilya Sorokin, but he made a great save, and ultimately the Islanders killed the penalty.
Despite the Isles’ efforts, the period ended scoreless.
Sorokin had to make saves on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ross Colton early, but then it was Adam Pelech who would break the deadlock with a long shot that beat Brian Elliott.
Tanner Jeannot and Scott Mayfield collided and got tangled up, and Jeannot got the worst of it, falling awkwardly onto his right leg. He was down on the ice for a little bit and when he got up, couldn’t put weight on his leg. Obviously, he didn’t return to the game, and hopefully for him the injury isn’t as serious as it looked.
After that, Samuel Bolduc stole the puck from Ian Cole and passed it off to Nelson from behind the net. Brock made no mistake, doubling the lead.
And not a minute after that, Kyle Palmieri made it 3-0 off a pass from Nelson. Nelson passed the puck off to a trailing Palmieri, who made his way through the slot and put the puck past Elliott. At that point, UBS Arena was rocking!
The Isles went on the power play a few minutes later, when Nick Perbix tripped Zach Parise. However, the best chance on that power play belonged to Tampa Bay, as Bellemare forced Sorokin to make a couple of good saves on his shorthanded attempts.
Shortly after that, Tampa would make it 3-1, after Brayden Point stole the puck from Sebastian Aho and passed it off to Kucherov.
Patrick Maroon hit Bo Horvat, and it seemed like Horvat’s skate came up on him around the chest area, and he would also leave the game and not return.
Then, Ryan Pulock restored the Islanders’ three goal lead, making it 4-1 off a great pass from Nelson.
The Islanders put on a lot of pressure early, and it was clear they were a bit faster getting to pucks, especially given that Tampa was down two skaters and had played the night before. Sorokin needed to make a poke check stop on Haydn Fleury and save a Ross Colton shot, but the Islanders did a pretty good job of closing out the period against tired opposition.
The power play was given another opportunity to do something, but was still dire, though Horvat had a shot saved and one go off the post.
Later, Parise would stick with the puck down low, getting it to Horvat who made a great pass to Simon Holmstrom, who made it 5-1, truly insuring the Islanders would win this game.
With under 30 seconds left in the game, JG Pageau and Victor Hedman got into it, and both were called for penalties, roughing and crosschecking, sending us to some 4 on 4 hockey to close things out. Off the faceoff, which Horvat won, Noah Dobson got the puck and passed it back to Horvat, who put it into a wide open net for the sixth goal of the night.
Next, the Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers at UBS Arena on Saturday. Pittsburgh and Florida will be playing on Saturday, too, so lots of scoreboard watching to be done as we get into the final three games of the season...