A 3-2 overtime win doesn’t sound like a dominant victory, but considering the New York Islanders put 50 shots on Collin Delia know that the scoreline doesn’t tell the full story.
The New York Islanders were on national television as the Chicago Blackhawks came to town. It was and will be the only time they get the privilege.
The Blackhawks have been absolutely atrocious this season with a 15-21-6 record. After years of success and three Stanley Cups the let down was inevitable.
With the Blackhawks participating in their 1,000,000th Winter Classic on New Years, the New York Islanders were hoping to get a bad team that was also perhaps emotionally drained from the festivities to maybe get their eighth win in nine games.
The Islanders fall behind quickly when Dominik Kahun was at the right place at the right time to pounce on a Robin Lehner rebound. But we’ve seen in that past how letting up the first goal isn’t necessarily a problem. Remember the 6-3 win over Ottawa? The Isles were down 2-0 and won.
And just over three minutes after the Blackhawks opening goal, the Islanders new all-star Mathew Barzal responded with his seventh goal in six games.
Watch this replay his goal is a thing of beauty. Barzal bats the puck out of the air! In mid air!
The Islanders would end the period level on goals but holding a 14-3 advantage in terms of shots. They were above and beyond the better team on the ice through 20 minutes.
The second was one heck of a dull affair. Both teams just checked closely and limited chances. It was a much more even period but with the teams with 16-13 in shots for the Islanders.
But late in the period Barzal drew a holding penalty against Gustav Forsling. Seconds later, Mathew Barzal himself put the puck in the net (second time in the game) as he waited by the side of the net for a Nick Leddy point shot.
That was Barzal’s seventh goal in four games, putting him on pace for 25 this season. Remember when we were a little worried when he was on pace for half of that?
Five minutes in Patrick Kane equalizes for the Blackhawks on the power play. After playing so well in this game the Islanders were unbelievably tied at two. Collin Delia was single handedly keeping the Blackhawks in this game.
With just a few minutes left in the final period the Islanders went to the power play against the worst penalty kill in the league. The Isles (outside of Mathew Barzal) generated very little.
With Collin Delia making 48 saves in regulation the New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks were going to overtime.
Devon Toews scored his first NHL goal in overtime. Off a great feed from Josh Bailey Toews follows up on his first shot to bury the rebound and celebrate in front of the Coliseum.
The Islanders were hoping for a tired team and they got one. But the 3-2 win doesn’t give the Islanders enough credit for the game they played.
They buried the Chicago Blackhawks on the night. In terms of shots the Isles held a 50-21 lead. The game was played almost entirely in the Chicago end. If not for Collin Delia this game would have been over in regulation with a much less flattering scoreline.
Fans of the Night
At the start of every game we ask fans to guess who will be the New York Islanders first goal scorer. These few brilliant individuals got it spot on.
— GUMP (Band) (@heygump) January 4, 2019
— TrottiertoTrotz (@MikeCarriere10) January 4, 2019
1. Collin Delia: 48 saves, 0.960SV%
Again, if not for Collin Delia the Chicago Blackhawks get laughed out of town with a 6-2 score line. Maybe more. The New York Islanders were all over the Blackhawks and only their goalie saved them from an embarrassing defeat.
2. Mathew Barzal: 2 goals
The man can’t stop scoring. It’s his third multi-goal game in four nights and now has 38 points in 39 games.
3. Devon Toews: 1 game wining first NHL goal
What a way to get your first NHL goal. An overtime game-winner at the Nassau Coliseum. He was probably at fault for the first Blackhawks goal, but he more than made up for it in the end.