The New York Islanders would do the business and win 2-0 over the Washington Capitals and move to the top of the Metropolitan Division.
The narrative going into the game was how now New York Islanders head coach was coming back to Washington since winning the Stanley Cup in the summer.
And rightfully so. But there was a sub-plot afoot. With a win and a Columbus Blue Jackets loss would push the Islanders into the top spot of the Metropolitan Division with 47 games played.
Standing in their way is the Washington Capitals who haven’t been too hot recently. They’ve lost two in a row and are 4-4-2 in their last ten games. The Islanders for their part have won three in a row and are 8-2-0 in their last ten.
We were all waiting the tribute video for Barry Trotz on the jumbo-tron. And during the very first TV time out we all got it. It was a nice tribute for the Stanley Cup winning cup coach.
Barry Trotz got a little misty eyed on the bench which in turn got me all misty eyed.
Now that the tribute was done it was down to business. And that business was trying to win a hockey game.
Unfortunately nothing of consequence happened in the first period. Both teams got a power play (for the Islanders it was in the opening second of the game) but neither would capitalize on it.
If there was any positive it was the Islanders 67 percent Corsi-for and leading in high-danger chances for by 4:0.
More of the same. Both teams would go another 20 minutes without scoring a goal. Both would get a power play opportunity, both couldn’t capitalize on them.
Thomas Greiss and Braden Holtby were fantastic through 40 minutes.
The Isles slipped up in the Corsi department with a 44 percent for the period. But they still maintained a 8:2 high-danger chances for. They were getting their chances you knew they’d bury one eventually.
With a later start to the game we found out during the third period that Montreal had taken a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Meaning that whomever won would move up to first in the Metro.
Almost instantaneously Josh Bailey redirects a Mat Barzal wrist shot from the blue line. Bailey had to go airborne and redirect the puck between his legs. You don’t see this type of goal often.
Two minutes later the “fourth line” did their work and worked the puck out form the d-zone with Cal Clutterbuck turning on the afterburners to walk in on a 2-on-0 with Matt Martin and the wristing it home past Braden Holtby.
That’s all it took as the Islanders won 2-0 over the defensing Stanley Cup champions and moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division.
Again, the New York Islanders are first in the Metropolitan Division with a 2-0 win over the Washington Captials. Soak it in.
Fans of the Game
Before every game we ask fans over twitter who will score the New York Islanders first goal of the game. It sounds easy but it really isn’t. Very few get it right, usually. Against the Washington Capitals seven fans got it bang on with Josh Bailey.
#12 will pop the first one
— James C (@JamesJudeCooney) January 19, 2019
— – (@BarzalsIsles) January 19, 2019
— T (@Riz2525) January 19, 2019
— Kevin (@MrTex25) January 19, 2019
Im gonna go with bailey
— Alexander J Guy (@alexanderjguy) January 19, 2019
— doc (@ifixspinz) January 19, 2019
— steve sandowski (@SSandowski) January 19, 2019
1. Thomas Greiss: 1 Shutout, 19 saves
He wasn’t peppered with shots, but Thomas Greiss did what he needed to do to shut out the Washington Capitals. He was constantly right where he needed to be and made his job on the night look easy, even though it absolutely wasn’t.
2. Josh Bailey: 1 goal
Ever see a player tip the puck while jumping and with the stick between his legs? Watch that Bailey goal. It was a goal-scorers goal. Real pretty.
3. Devon Toews: 4 shots on goal
Toews looks like an absolute vet out there, but he’s only played 13 NHL games. He got the puck on net, an pinched and pulled when it was appropriate.