It took a while, but the New York Islanders woke up to come from behind with five unanswered goals to win 6-3 against the Ottawa Senators.
It was the first meeting of the season between the New York Islanders and the Ottawa Senators. Last season the Islanders were 2-1-0 against the Senators. They hope to keep that winning form up.
Before taking on the Senators, the New York Islanders were 4-1-0 over their last five. A fifth win in six would place the Islanders just outside of a playoff spot.
A win today would be a great way to visit he who shall remain nameless as the Isles go on the road to the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow,
The Islanders were playing relatively well as they work their way into the game after a long Christmas break. And then Adam Pelech absolutely gifted the Senators a goal with a no look drop pass in the slot right to Mark Stone who buried it.
And that was it for the first period. The Islanders were down by one after a bad mistake from Pelech.
Just under three minutes into the second period Casey Cizikas takes an interference call. Matt Duchene races into the zone, shakes a hit from Johnny Boychuk, and then gets the puck past Thomas Greiss on the power play.
It was an ugly goal to give up. It was the second time that Thomas Greiss was let out to dry and the Isles were put to the sword on both occasions.
Finally, three minutes and eleven seconds into the second period, the New York Islanders would get on the board thanks to Josh Bailey off a brutal giveaway by Senators goalie Mike McKenna.
Codi Ceci would add another to make 3-1 with only 26 minutes of the game played. Barry Trotz opted to switch Greiss for Robin Lehner to give his team a jolt who desperately needed one.
Anders Lee would cut the Senators lead by one after capitalizing on a Senators mistake in their defensive zone.
The Islanders battle back to get themselves within a goal of the Ottawa Senators after forty minutes. Through five minutes of the third frame the Isles would find themselves with the lead for the first time on the night.
First it was new-ish dad Johnny Boychuk (it was his third child but first son) with a cannon slapshot from the point. Absolute vintage Boychuk.
Less than two minutes later Mathew Barzal would put in his first of two goals on the night thanks to Anthony Beauvillier and Leo Komarov.
It was a well worked goal for Barzal who still had a lot to do to find an opening. Going top corner on McKenna made it all the more sweater. And then at the 12:24 mark Barzal would add his second of the night.
Casey Cizikas would add an empty net goal to make it 6-3 for the come from behind win.
The New York Islanders started the game like you’d expect a team coming off a long break. Disjointed and with no energy at all. That changed as the game progressed and the Isles were able to come away with a much needed win.
Fans of the Game
We ask fans before the game who they think will score the New York Islanders first goal of the game. These clairvoyant fans got it right.
— Jonas Machado (@jonas_marrello) December 29, 2018
— Ben Cohen (@bhco27) December 29, 2018
1. Mat Barzal: 2 goals, 1 assist
The Islanders Calder winner from 2018 was the best player on the ice for both teams. His pace, vision, and overall play got him three points in a game for the first time this season.
2. Casey Cizikas: 1 goal, 1 assist
Casey Cizikas did what Casey Cizikas does. Caused havoc in the other team zone with a relentless forecheck. He caused a number of turnovers that created goals where he should have received an assists…if creating the turnover counted that is.
3. Islanders Fans
A total of 13, 434 showed up to the Barclays Center to see the Ottawa Senators come to town. Canadian media can’t make attendance jokes with that type of support.